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Open banking revolution coming

New regulations encouraging open banking may bring additional operational challenges, but research shows open banking has the power to transform the global banking landscape over the next decade, writes JACOB MORGAN of Forrester.

Open banking is the next step in the digital banking evolution. By participating in partnerships and collaborative ecosystems, banks will be able to further their drive to enable customer outcomes.

Digital technologies such as APIs will sit at the heart of open banking as software and accessibility drives further disruption and business models evolve. Open banking blows apart the insular nature of many banks and will transform the banking landscape, as noted in the new report: The Open Banking Revolution is Imminent.

There have been a number of moves from global regulators and banking advisory committees pushing for a move towards open banking over the past few years. Europe is less than a year away from implementing the second phase of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2). The Open Banking Development Group was set up to devise a global Open Banking Standard late 2016 and Australia and the UK have also seen moves towards legislated open banking standards.

The regulators are promoting open banking to drive innovation and increase competition in the market, to benefit the customer.

While these are lofty ideals, few understand either the full implications or the opportunities offered by open banking.

Among the common misunderstandings is confusing open access with a relinquishing of control. While interfaces are public facing, banks do not need to relinquish access control, management of data and services, or the ability to monetise access.

APIs will open up collaborative ecosystems which can enable real-time connections and collaboration opportunities for banks and their partners. Allowing third parties access to product catalogues, business processes, data and business processes, banks can expand their presence, boost sales and increase revenues. Moreover, some banks are already experimenting with open developer platforms which are driving innovation.

However, there are potential downsides to the new requirements, unless banks put their customers at the heart of their future strategies.

Open data will allow for granular product and service comparisons, which could lead to dissatisfied customers switching banks.  Open standards will also amplify interoperability which will, in turn, foster collaboration. New products and services will drive competition into the market and could pose a threat to banks which are complacent. A more open environment will also make barriers of entry far lower. For banks which have been used to the prohibitive licensing and regulatory hurdles, having a flood of nimble, new entrants could pose a further business threat.

True open banking transformation will not happen overnight and Forrester believes that this may only materialise over the next decade. However, the report details some actions which banks can take in the shorter-term to prepare for the future.

This includes building a strategy which is centred around what future partners will need from the engagement, including developers and third-party partners. The company has also advised banking professionals to spend some time determining how they will build their future ecosystems as well as the role they would like to play in it.

Finally, the research cautions that banks should build flexibility into their strategy. Prioritising investments that will ensure fast response times in the technology as well as the processes and skills will drive agility into the organisation and better prepare it for the future.

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Veeam passes $1bn, prepares for cloud’s ‘Act II’

Leader in cloud-data management reveals how it will harness the next growth phase of the data revolution, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

Veeam Software, the quiet leader in backup solutions for cloud data management,has announced that it has passed $1-billion in revenues, and is preparing for the next phase of sustained growth in the sector.

Now, it is unveiling what it calls Act II, following five years of rapid growth through modernisation of the data centre. At the VeeamON 2019conferencein Miami this week, company co-founder Ratmir Timashev declared that the opportunities in this new era, focused on managing data for the hybrid cloud, would drive the next phase of growth.

“Veeam created the VMware backup market and has dominated it as the leader for the last decade,” said Timashev, who is also executive vice president for sales and marketing at the organisation. “This was Veeam’s Act I and I am delighted that we have surpassed the $1 billion mark; in 2013 I predicted we’d achieve this in less than six years. 

“However, the market is now changing. Backup is still critical, but customers are now building hybrid clouds with AWS, Azure, IBM and Google, and they need more than just backup. To succeed in this changing environment, Veeam has had to adapt. Veeam, with its 60,000-plus channel and service provider partners and the broadest ecosystem of technology partners, including Cisco, HPE, NetApp, Nutanix and Pure Storage, is best positioned to dominate the new cloud data management in our Act II.”

In South Africa, Veeam expects similar growth. Speaking at the Cisco Connect conference in Sun City this week, country manager Kate Mollett told Gadget’s BRYAN TURNER that the company was doing exceptionally well in this market.

“In financial year 2018, we saw double-digit growth, which was really very encouraging if you consider the state of the economy, and not so much customer sentiment, but customers have been more cautious with how they spend their money. We’ve seen a fluctuation in the currency, so we see customers pausing with big decisions and hoping for a recovery in the Rand-Dollar. But despite all of the negatives, we have double digit growth which is really good. We continue to grow our team and hire.

“From a Veeam perspective, last year we were responsible for Veeam Africa South, which consisted of South Africa, SADC countries, and the Indian Ocean Islands. We’ve now been given the responsibility for the whole of Africa. This is really fantastic because we are now able to drive a single strategy for Africa from South Africa.”

Veeam has been the leading provider of backup, recovery and replication solutions for more than a decade, and is growing rapidly at a time when other players in the backup market are struggling to innovate on demand.

“Backup is not sexy and they made a pretty successful company out of something that others seem to be screwing up,” said Roy Illsley, Distinguished Analyst at Ovum, speaking in Miami after the VeeamOn conference. “Others have not invested much in new products and they don’t solve key challenges that most organisations want solved. Theyre resting on their laurels and are stuck in the physical world of backup instead of embracing the cloud.”

Illsley readily buys into the Veeam tagline. “It just works”. 

“They are very good at marketing but are also a good engineering comany that does produce the goods. Their big strength, that it just works, is a reliable feature they have built into their product portfolio.”

Veeam said in statement from the event that, while it had initially focused on server virtualisation for VMware environments, in recent years it had expanded this core offering. It was now delivering integration with multiple hypervisors, physical servers and endpoints, along with public and software-as-a-service workloads, while partnering with leading cloud, storage, server, hyperconverged (HCI) and application vendors.

This week, it  announced a new “with Veeam”program, which brings in enterprise storage and hyperconverged (HCI) vendors to provide customers with comprehensive secondary storage solutions that combine Veeam software with industry-leading infrastructure systems. Companies like ExaGrid and Nutanix have already announced partnerships.

Timashev said: “From day one, we have focused on partnerships to deliver customer value. Working with our storage and cloud partners, we are delivering choice, flexibility and value to customers of all sizes.”

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‘Energy scavenging’ funded

As the drive towards a 5G future gathers momentum, the University of Surrey’s research into technology that could power countless internet enabled devices – including those needed for autonomous cars – has won over £1M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industry partners.

Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) has been working on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG), an energy harvesting technology capable of ‘scavenging’ energy from movements such as human motion, machine vibration, wind and vehicle movements to power small electronic components. 

TENG energy harvesting is based on a combination of electrostatic charging and electrostatic induction, providing high output, peak efficiency and low-cost solutions for small scale electronic devices. It’s thought such devices will be vital for the smart sensors needed to enable driverless cars to work safely, wearable electronics, health sensors in ‘smart hospitals’ and robotics in ‘smart factories.’ 

The ATI will be partnered on this development project with the Georgia Institute of Technology, QinetiQ, MAS Holdings, National Physical Laboratory, Soochow University and Jaguar Land Rover. 

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the ATI and the principal investigator of the TENG project, said: “TENG technology is ideal to power the next generation of electronic devices due to its small footprint and capacity to integrate into systems we use every day. Here at the ATI, we are constantly looking to develop such advanced technologies leading towards our quest to realise worldwide “free energy”.

“TENGs are an ideal candidate to power the autonomous electronic systems for Internet of Things applications and wearable electronic devices. We believe this research grant will allow us to further the design of optimized energy harvesters.”

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