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Enterprise gets Intelligence

A new range of services launched by SAP brings advanced technologies to the enterprise.

At the Sapphire Now conference in Orlando last week, SAP announced new products and partnerships to enable enterprises to become more intelligent, with expanded capabilities from advanced technologies like conversational artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and analytics. SAP also announced that SAP Cloud Platform is now available on all major cloud infrastructure providers.

The Internet of Things platform launched a year ago, Has also extended its technical capabilities for customers to embed cutting-edge technologies into their processes to improve workflows and make enterprises more efficient.

The new products and services include the following. Information as upplied by SAP:

·         SAP Conversational AI enables companies to develop intelligent chatbots. The service includes a powerful end-to-end toolkit for training, building and monitoring chatbots. These chatbots can be integrated with SAP and non-SAP systems and are available as preconfigured industry-specific bots. So far, users have built 60,000 SAP Conversational AI chatbots. France’s railway company SNCF and telecommunications provider SFR already are using SAP Conversational AI to improve customer service and target younger audiences.

·         SAP Leonardo Machine Learning capabilities are now embedded in applications across the SAP portfolio, including SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP C/4HANA and SAP Ariba solutions.

·         SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation, which allows customers to develop individual applications, has five new services, including object detection, text recognition in images and text classification, which analyzes and automatically categorizes text documents. It now supports the software library scikit-learn, in addition to TensorFlow.

·         SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain is a new blockchain as a service enabling enterprises to easily build and extend business solutions with blockchain technologies, such as Hyperledger Fabric and MultiChain. About 65 companies participate in the SAP blockchain co-innovation initiative to help customers use manufacturing and supply-chain products augmented by blockchain to enhance transparency, safety and collaboration in industries such as transportation, food, and pharmaceuticals. To ensure quality, U.S. sausage maker Johnsonville LLC is using blockchain to trace the origin of products across the supply chain.

To expand and accelerate global adoption and best practices of blockchain in the transportation industry, SAP has started a global blockchain consortium with seven founding members, including Intel Corp., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) and A3 by Airbus SE.

To help customers easily embed advanced technologies into their solutions, SAP released SAP Leonardo-based innovation kits for specific industries, including retail, life sciences, manufacturing and automotive. SAP also launched the SAP Leonardo Partner Medallion Initiative, an SAP partner service that has more than doubled the number of SAP Leonardo embedded industry solutions.

SAP Cloud Platform Takes Multicloud to New Dimensions

SAP continues to expand and enhance its multicloud strategy with the general availability of SAP Cloud Platform on Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. With these additions, along with Amazon Web Services (AWS), SAP Cloud Platform is now available on all major hyperscale cloud infrastructure providers. Only SAP delivers this single enterprise platform as a service (PaaS) with such flexibility, openness and choice.

SAP also intends to release SAP Cloud Platform, private edition, on IBM Cloud as a private cloud deployment. The joint solution will allow clients in regulated industries such as banking, healthcare and transportation, as well as those managing sensitive data, to have the flexibility, speed and agility to innovate without jeopardizing security and control.

Delivering on its promise to offer customers choice in mobile app deployments, SAP is also releasing the SAP Cloud Platform software development kit (SDK) for Android. It allows customers to access sophisticated workflows through any Android or Chrome OS device, bringing a familiar, easy-to-use mobile experience across iOS and Android apps.

SAP Analytics Cloud Innovations Enable the Intelligent Enterprise

The expanded capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud are now directly embedded within SAP S/4HANA Cloud to ensure organizations can plan, execute and analyze in one system, breaking free from spreadsheet proliferation or stand-alone tools. Customers include leading recycled paper and packing company Pratt Industries, aerospace and defense company L3 Technologies and Daimler AG. Additionally, SAP Analytics Cloud now delivers contextual news feeds.

SAP Analytics Cloud extends access to over 150 cloud data sources, so customers can easily access, blend and gain insight from their data, no matter where it resides. The combination of machine learning and natural language query (NLQ) technology augments human intelligence, leading to faster, more accurate results and greater business agility. The new feature “search to insight” uses conversational AI to quickly provide insights into data by answering ad hoc questions in natural language on any device.

Other enhancements to SAP Analytics Cloud include prebuilt content and business logic for more than 20 SAP products, including SAP SuccessFactors®, SAP Ariba and SAP Hybris solutions and SAP S/4HANA, to embed analytics where users work. These capabilities in SAP Analytics Cloud can be embedded into SAP line-of-business applications to power the intelligent enterprise.

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Mobile is the new branch

Standard Bank has launched an account for mobile devices that gives back 500MB of data a month

Standard Bank has introducd a R4.95p/m bank account called MyMo that customers can open on their mobile devices, loaded with data and airtime offerings and other benefits such as virtual and Gold physical card.

MyMo account holders will also enjoy the convenience of a cheque account through a Visa and Mastercard gold card. Once the account is open, users can choose to either receive R50 in airtime or 500MB of data a month, if their card is swiped more than four times a month. A further megabyte of data is loaded on the account for every R20 spent.

“MyMo is an account for everyone, whether you just landed your first job or have been around the block. With no documentation required it only takes a few minutes to open the account,” says Funeka Montjane, Chief Executive for Personal and Business Banking, South Africa, at Standard Bank Group. “For just R4.95 a month customer will be able to enjoy free swipes and ATM withdrawals at only R6.50 for amounts under R 1 000.

“Mobile is the new branch. This account is about bringing the mobile branch into customers hands, it is about convenience and security while banking.”

She says mobile offers low cost transactional banking which integrates people and businesses into the new connected economy, making mobile the new branch ecosystem that will drive and connect Africa’s growth. Physical connections to the economy are rapidly changing to digital where banks have to move from being financial institutions to service organisations.

“In the past people congregated in communities and eventually cities to maximise the advantages of connectivity. Today a simple hand-held device has the potential to open infinite doors, transforming individuals’ access to opportunities, regardless of where they are, and like never before in history. 

“Historically, a bank account represented access to economic citizenship. Today, having a simple device enabling digital access to a modern banking platform is a passport to global connectivity and vast human development potential.”

The bank says it is using technology, and mobile phones in particular, to deliver low-cost transactional channels accessible to all our customers. The evolution in mobile can be seen in transaction options like cash back at the retail checkout till rather than the ATM, free digital banking rather than using a branch, and the ability to transact using digital wallets, even without a bank account.

“Developing comprehensive connected ecosystems requires a mind-set change from Africa’s banks,” says Montjane. “Banks will evolve away from traditional financial service organisations, into service ecosystems enabling broad universal access to almost everything like enhanced purchasing experiences of vehicles and homes, online procurement of goods and services and lifestyle elements like rewards and travel. 

“These connectivity drivers will also act to future-proof evolving connectivity ecosystem by allowing us to offer untold future services while deriving income from as yet unrealised revenue streams,.   

From a customer perspective, the kind of ecosystems of knowledge, access and, ultimately, connectivity that banks will come to provide will radically transform the share of life that almost all individuals will be able to access.”

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Two-thirds of SA staff hide social media from bosses

With 90% of people in employment going online several times a day, it can be hard for most workers to keep their private and work-life separate during the working day (and beyond). The recently published Global Privacy Report from Kaspersky Lab reveals that 64% of South African consumers choose to hide social media activity from their boss. This secretive stance at work also extends to their colleagues, with 60% of South Africans also preferring not to reveal online activities to their co-workers.

Globally, the average employee spends an astonishing 13 years and two months at work during their lifetime. Interestingly though, not all this time is directly related to solving work tasks or earning a promotion: almost two thirds (64%) of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.

Not surprisingly, 35% of South African employees are against their employer knowing which websites they visit. However, more interestingly, 60% of South African are even against their colleagues knowing about their online activities. This probably means that colleagues constitute an even greater threat to future perspectives of an office slouch or maybe the relationships with colleagues are more informal and therefore, more valuable.

On the contrary, social media activity appears to be a less private domain for many and therefore, more suitable for sharing with colleagues but not the boss. This is probably because workers fear harming the public image of a company or interest in decreased staff productivity motivates companies to monitor employees’ social networks and make career changing decisions based on that. Such policies have led to 64% of South Africans saying that they don’t want to reveal their social media activities to their boss and 53% even don’t want to disclose this information to their colleagues.

A further 29% are against showing the content of their messages and emails to their employer. In addition, 3% even said that their career was irrevocably damaged as a consequence of their personal information being leaked. Thus, people are worried about how to build a favourable internal reputation and how not to destroy existing workplace relationships.

“As going online is an integral part of our life nowadays, lines continue to blur between our digital existence at work and at home. And that’s neither good nor bad. That’s how we live in the digital age. Just keep remembering that as an employee you need to be increasingly cautious of what exactly you post on social media feeds or what websites you prefer using at work. One misconceived action on the internet could have an irrevocable long-term impact on even the most ambitious worker’s ability to climb the career ladder of their choice in the future,” comments Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

To ensure workers don’t fall prey of the internet threats at a work, there are some core guidelines to adhere to in the digital age:

  • Don’t post anything that could be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libellous. If in doubt, don’t post.
  • Be aware that system administrators may at least, in theory, be informed about your web browsing patterns.
  • Don’t harass, threaten, discriminate or disparage against any colleague, partner, competitor or customer. Neither on social networks or in messages, emails, nor by any other means.
  • Don’t post photographs of other employees, customers, vendors, suppliers or company products without prior written permission.
  • Start using Kaspersky Password Manager to ensure your social media and other personal accounts are not at risk of unauthorised access by someone else in an office. Install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Security Cloud to protect your personal devices.

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