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Oracle expands cloud portfolio

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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.

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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