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‘Video cockpit’ to boost Germany in FIFA World Cup

SAP has introduced technology innovations to the SAP Sports One solution to help the German national football team play at peak performance during the World Cup in Russia.

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SAP and the German Football Association (DFB) co-innovated the video cockpit and player dashboard to respond to the team’s evolving need to analyze and share relevant match data efficiently, putting them in the best position to win.

The video cockpit is a content hub that merges copious amounts of the team’s live-play videos with match and training information from a variety of sources. This enables the DFB match analysts and coaching team to quickly identify patterns and tendencies and craft strategies to address opponents’ potential weaknesses. Using the player dashboard, team coaches and analysts can provide players with easy access to personalized information and videos from their mobile devices in real time. The video cockpit and player dashboard represent the latest features of SAP Sports One, a solution that helps sports teams and organizations digitalize performance management by coordinating all administrative, training and team management, scouting and medical processes.

“We have an incredible amount of data at the German national team that we need to process and share in real time with the trainer, the players and the analysts,” said Oliver Bierhoff, general manager, German national football team. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning play a significant role in football and are an essential part of data analytics. Our experts and the ones from SAP are working on these topics together. We aim to gain a competitive advantage by using the latest technology innovations and we’re glad to work with SAP as the best partner for that.”

The DFB was among the first to recognize the impact that data and real-time insights could have on football.

“The tactical aspects of soccer have become increasingly important in recent years,” said Christofer Clemens, head of scouting and match analysis, German national football team. “This means that coaches, assistant coaches and match analysts are putting more effort into observing and analyzing the various data sources of a game. It is a logical step to use technological innovations – especially from the fields of data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning – to simplify and accelerate certain processes. Using the new functionalities of the SAP Sports One solution – video cockpit and player dashboard – allows the match analysts to prepare the coaches and players even more efficiently. Additionally, the players receive tailor-made information packages for upcoming matches.”

Since 2013, the German national football team and SAP have transformed the team’s use and processing of data to enhance player performance. Working together, they created innovative solutions that turn vast amounts of data into unique, real-time insights, providing a competitive edge in training and match performance.

“As the reigning World Cup champion, the German national football team is at the forefront of the digital transformation across football and among the first to recognize that data and real-time insights can have a powerful impact on the field of play,” said Stefan Ries, Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and Chief Human Resources Officer. “Since 2013, the German national football team and SAP have transformed the way the team captures and processes data to inform and enhance player performance. The new SAP Sports One features, video cockpit and player dashboard, make the job of the coaches and game analysts easier, as they have direct access to the information that is essential for the team to win.”

In 2014, SAP developed the SAP Match Insights solution, offering greater insights into team performance on the field, and the SAP Team One mobile app, a mobile application that helps players and coaches communicate and share information more easily. In 2016, SAP introduced the SAP Penalty Insights Web application and the SAP Challenger Insights mobile app, two prototypic technologies providing data-driven insights into opponent tendencies and formations. Using SAP solutions and the resulting insights as an integral part of its training and preparation, DFB has won various international titles, raising its performance on the world stage.

Outlook to the Future: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Technology

Looking ahead, SAP and DFB are already working on solutions to strengthen the development of the next generation of German players. Artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities in match analysis have been identified as key priorities by SAP and DFB. For example, in the near future team officials will be able to identify more easily and quickly complex match scenes and opponent tendencies based on pattern detection and positioning data. As an official partner of the DFB Academy, SAP will continue to contribute its technology expertise by creating training solutions for players and coaches, helping the team in the areas of talent development and player scouting.

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How to rob a bank in the 21st century

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In the early 1980s, South Africans were gripped by tales of the most infamous bank robbery gangs the country had ever known: The Stander Gang. The gang would boldly walk into banks, brandishing weapons, demand cash and simply disappear. These days, a criminal doesn’t even have to be in the same country as the bank he or she intends to rob. Cyber criminals are quite capable of emptying bank accounts without even stepping out of their own homes.

As we become more and more aware of cybersecurity and the breaches that can occur, we’ve become more vigilant. Criminals, however, are still going to follow the money and even though security may be beefed up in many organisations, hackers are going to go for the weakest links. This makes it quintessential for consumers and enterprises to stay one step ahead of the game.

“Not only do these cyber bank criminals get away with the cash, they also end up damaging an organisation’s reputation and the integrity of its infrastructure,” says Indi Siriniwasa, Vice President of Trend Micro, Sub-Saharan Africa. “And sometimes, these breaches mean they get away with more than just cash – they can make off with data and personal information as well.”

Because the cyber criminals operate outside bricks and mortar, going for the cash register or robbing the customers is not where their misdeeds end. Bank employees – from the tellers to the CEO – are all fair game.

But how do they do it? Taking money out of an account is not the only way to steal money. Cyber criminals can zero in on the bank’s infrastructure, or hack into payment systems and even payment documents. Part of a successful operation for them may also include hacking into telecommunications to gain access to one-time pins or mobile networks.

“It’s not just about hacking,” says Siriniwasa.. “It’s also about the hackers trying to get an ‘inside man’ in the bank who could help them or even using a person’s personal details to get a new SIM so that they can have access to OTPs. Of course, they also use the tried and tested method of phishing which continues to be exceptionally effective – despite the education in the market to thwart it.”

The amounts of malware and available attacks to gain access to bank funds is strikingly vast and varies from using web injection script, social engineering and even targeting internal networks as well as points of sale systems. If there is an internet connection and a system you can be assured that there is a cybercriminal trying to crack it. The impact on the bank itself is also massive, with reputations left in tatters and customers moving their business elsewhere.

“We see that cyber criminals use multi-faceted attacks,” says Siriniwasa. “This means that we need to come at security from multiple angles as well. Every single layer of an organisation’s online perimeter need to be secured. Threat isolation is exceptionally important and having security with intrusion protection is vital. Again, vigilance on the part of staff and customers also goes a long way to preventing attacks. These criminals might not carry guns like Andre Stander and his gang, but they are just as dangerous – in fact – probably more so.”

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Beaten by big data? AI is the answer

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by ZAKES SOCIKWA, cloud big data and analytics lead at Oracle

In 2019, it’sestimated we’ll generate more data than we did in the previous 5,000 years. Data is fast becoming the most valuable asset of any modern organisation, and while most have access to their internal data, they continue to experience challenges in deriving maximum value through being able to effectively monetise the information that they hold.

The foundation of any analytics or Business Intelligence (BI) reporting capability is an efficient data collection system that ensures events/transactions are properly recorded, captured, processed and stored. Some of this information on its own might not provide any valuable insights, but if it is analysed together with other sources might yield interesting patterns.

Big data opens up possibilities of enhancing internal sources with unstructured data and information from Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Furthermore, as we move to a digital age, more businesses are implementing customer experience solutions and there is a growing need for them to improve their service and personalise customer engagements.

The digital behaviour of customers, such as social media postings and the networks or platforms they engage with, further provides valuable information for data collection. Information gathering methods are being expanded to accommodate all types and formats of data, including images, videos, and more.

In the past, BI and Data Mining were left to highly technical and analytical individuals, but the introduction of data visualisation tools is democratising the analytics world. However, business users and report consumers often do not have a clear understanding of what they need or what is possible.

AI now embedded into day to day applications

To this end, artificial intelligence (AI) is finishing what business intelligence started. By gathering, contextualising, understanding, and acting on huge quantities of data, AI has given rise to a new breed of applications – one that’s continuously improving and adapting to the conditions around it. The more data that is available for the analysis, the better is the quality of the outcomes or predictions.

In addition, AI changes the productivity equation for many jobs by automating activities and adapting current jobs to solve more complex and time-consuming problems, from recruiters being able to source better candidates faster to financial analysts eliminating manual error-prone reporting.

This type of automation will not replace all jobs but will invent new ones. This enables businesses to reduce the time to complete tasks and the costs of maintenance, and will lead to the creation of higher-value jobs and new engagement models. Oracle predicts that by 2025, the productivity gains delivered by AI, emerging technologies, and augmented experiences could double compared to today’s operations.

According to the IDC, worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics (BDA) solutions was expected to total $166 billion in 2018, and forecast to reach $260 billion in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.9% over the 2017-2022 forecast period. It adds that two of the fastest growing BDA technology categories will be Cognitive/AI Software Platforms (36.5% CAGR) and Non-relational Analytic Data Stores (30.3% CAGR)¹.

Informed decisions, now and in the future

As new layers of technology are introduced and more complex data sources are added to the ecosystem, the need for a tightly integrated technology stack becomes a challenge. It is advisable to choose your technology components very carefully and always have the end state in mind.

More development on emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, IoT, virtual reality and others will probably be available on cloud first before coming on premise. For those organisations that are adopting public cloud, there are opportunities to consume the benefits of public cloud and drive down costs of doing business.

While the introduction of public cloud is posing a challenge on data sovereignty and other regulations, technology providers such as Oracle have developed a ‘Cloud at Customer’ model that provides the full benefits of public cloud – but located on premise, within an organisation’s own data centre.

The best organisations will innovate and optimise faster than the rest. Best decisions must be made around choice of technology, business processes, integration and architectures that are fit for business. In the information marketplace, speed and informed decision making will be key differentiators amongst competitors.

¹ IDC Press Release, Revenues for Big Data and Business Analytics Solutions Forecast to Reach $260 Billion in 2022, Led by the Banking and Manufacturing Industries, According to IDC, 15 August 2018

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