OpenText, a PaperFree partner and global leader in Enterprise Information Management, has been named a 2017 Leader in Content Services Platforms by Gartner's Magic Quadrant. The report notes the influence of new cloud, social collaboration, mobile, and analytics technologies on OpenText's work and how OpenText has responded to fully utilize these new trends in their products.
"Information is at the heart of all digital processes. The evolution of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) to Content Services, as a way to manage and integrate this information, is paramount to a successful digital transformation strategy,” said Mark Barrenechea, Vice-Chairman, CEO & CTO at OpenText. “OpenText has made significant investments across our Content Services during the past year. By adding leading platforms such as Documentum to our portfolio, and embedding Content Services in our applications, OpenText continues to innovate, evolve and grow with the market.”
More and more, businesses are asking their software to process a wider variety of data, faster, and with more detail so that these metrics can be used to influence how the enterprise operates. These days even IT decisions are tapping into information from the production end. It has been noted that “Content Services Platform (CSP) vendors are recasting ECM in terms of a service-oriented architecture ... A CSP has the flexibility to support existing and emerging content use cases. It has its own repository but should also be able to integrate external repositories through connectors, APIs or packaged integrations. Today, many CSPs can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud or in hybrid architectures.”
OpenText's EIM platform aims to build interconnectivity between all arms of an enterprise by integrating their content into daily operations to transform productivity and control. And, OpenText Content Services aheres to the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard and support a broad range of operating systems, databases, application servers, and enterprise applications.
This article was based on an October 12, 2017 OpenText press release.
Windows 10 Mobile is dead, according to Microsoft Corporate VP of Windows Joe Belfiore. While this announcement doesn't come as much of a shock given the market hasn't had a competitive Windows phone since 2015, it's still the nail in the coffin given that the platform had high hopes in HP's now scrapped Elite X3 Windows phone. Previously, Windows execs revealed that developing apps for iPhone and Android were becoming more of a priority than Windows 10 Mobile, but there is still hope for the future with a rumored "Surface Phone", based on the Microsoft tablet. But, with with Windows 10 Mobile gone and the PC market in steady decline, what's next for Microsoft?
The answer, surprisingly, is in augmented reality (AR) technology. AR technology layers digital images over the real world via a smartphone or specially equipped glasses. This wouldn't be Microsoft's first foray into AR tech either - their 2015 HoloLens googles were wildly popular. The hope is to have AR eyewear eventually replace phones - hands free devices are certainly convenient, and glasses would mean users are connected to their texts and Netflix all day.
However, this may not be as easy of an endeavor as Microsoft hopes. Google and Apple are working on their own AR technology, and both have operating systems to buid to. Without an operating system, Microsoft would be developing for a market that has already been tapped. It'd make most sense for them to find another niche, and interestingly enough, it appears that they've found it in gaming. Microsoft has teamed up with tech giants Samsung and Dell to develop and promote VR headseats for Windows 10 PCs, expanding Xbox offerings, and even bringing some Xbox games to PC (and vice versa).
In the meantime, the Office suite is still Microsoft's heavy hitter and continually receives updates and additions of new features, and they hope to be able to open up new avenues of interaction with PCs in the process. But, completely without a mobile platform the market is watching Microsoft to see if they're able to remain relevant while competing against its major rivals.
This article was based on a October 10, 2017 Business Insider article by Matt Weinberger. Read it here.
Oracle has annouced a groundbreaking new approach to cybersecurity - databases that can patch themselves. Reported yesterday at the Oracle OpenWorld conference by Oracle executive chairman Larry Ellison, the new database platform uses automation technology to keep itself up to date. And, it can do this without needing to be offline, something that is uncommon in the market. As we have seen in recent news, the need to keep cybersecurity patches up to date is critical, as the magnitude and cause of the Equifax breech has shown. However, many enterprises delay patches because of the downtime involved, or even the feeling that the risk of exploitation isn't worth the IT or production hassle.
The database, called Oracle 18c, requires no human intervention to be up to date so everything happens automatically. This proves its worth when it comes to the discovery of serious vulnerabilities that hackers take advantage of. And, machine learning is now included in the tech so that the process can fine tune itself over time. This automation also returns cost savings and fewer errors during IT maintenance as well - "There is no pilot error anymore, because there is no pilot," Ellison said. "Therefore, we can guarantee an availability time of 99.95%. That's less than 30 minutes a year of planned or unplanned downtime."
The Oracle 18c's closest competitor is Amazon Web Services' Redshift, but it is already proving more flexible and cost effective than the latter due to its ability to rapidly free up resouces for heavy workloads.
This article was based on a October 1, 2017 Business Insider article by Becky Peterson. Read it here.
PaperFree partner Dell EMC, General Dynamics, and Microsoft recently announced a joint $1 billion, five year contract for the United States Air Force, named the Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services (CHES) program. This program, a continuation of the trio's 2015 Collaboration Pathfinder program for the USAF, aims to improve "efficiency and agility, encourage innovation, and generate cost savings across the Air Force's information technology enterprise."
According to Steve Harris, senior vice president and general manager, Dell EMC Federal, Dell EMC is "grateful for the Air Force’s continued confidence in Dell EMC and our industry partners to expand and further support its IT modernization efforts. This new contract builds on the foundation and success of Collaboration Pathfinder that launched the department’s modernization initiative. Dell EMC has the strengths in cloud, defense and consulting services needed to implement quickly and manage enterprise-scale migrations. We will help deliver a robust CHES infrastructure, enabling the service to focus on mission accomplishment.”
In these initiatives, the USAF is transitioning its operations into the cloud. So far, this has included email, productivity tools, and communications. CHES is building on this previous work to now include information, communications, email, collaboration services, office productivity, and records management transitioned into the cloud for 776,000 users. The Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also stand to benefit from the transition, and in all, this project is the largest federal cloud-based unified communications and collaboration contract undertaken in the federal marketplace.
The goal is to roll out CHES in under a year in an effort to manage costs while allowing these departments to focus on their tasks. Dell EMC Consulting Services will also lend a hand in the project to manage the migration of communications and collaboration systems, as well as to evaluate applications for cloud readiness.
This article was based on a September 20, 2017 Dell EMC press release. Read it here.
In a scientific first, researchers at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa have developed a way to connect the human brain to the internet. Nicknamed the "Brainternet", it works by collecting brainwave EEG signals from a person and then livestreaming the signals to a website via a Raspberry Pi device and an application programming interface. Essentially, the person is turned into an Internet of Things (IoT) node on the internet.
While this approach is simplistic, this is the first step in a plethora of biomedical potential. The goal of this project, according to Adam Pantanowitz, a lecturer in the Wits School of Electrical and Information Engineering and the project’s supervisor is to address the "...lack of easily understood data about how a human brain works and processes information" and that the "Brainternet seeks to simplify a person’s understanding of their own brain and the brains of others. It does this through continuous monitoring of brain activity as well as enabling some interactivity." This interactivity is what they hope to expand on, such as allowing for inputs and outputs to the brain. Some of this functionality is already built into the system, but more study is needed to use it to its full potential.
By allowing a more robust connection to the brain researchers hope to be able to learn more about the brain, and how to use that information to expand our ability to use our minds. Plus, findings from this study stand to offer great benefit to the development of machine learning and brain-computer interfaces.
This article was based on a September 15, 2017 Business Insider article by Patrick Caughill. Read it here.
Bumrungrad International Hospital (BIH), a Thailand-based innovative healthcare facility, recently teamed up with Dell EMC to implement a converged infrastructure solution with the aim of improving patient care. The new system includes capabilities for online patient registration, automated laboratories, and personalized cancer treatment.
The hospital, well-known as a medical tourism destination, is tackling the problem of cancer treatment via DNA sequencing. This new approach to care involves customizing the patient's treatment based on their DNA makeup, with the aim to reduce damage to other tissues and systems. DNA sequencing is data intensive and requires a hefty IT system to run at the pace necessary for a large medical instituion. “Having personalised data on a patient helps doctors to tailor a treatment plan that is specific for the patient, aided by a better understanding of the underlying conditions. With DNA sequencing, physicians will be able to choose drugs based on the genetic mutation of each patient’s tumour and avoid those that may cause side effects for that patient,” said Dr. Erik Fleischman, International Medical Director, Bumrungrad International Hospital.
BIH tallies up nearly 10,000 medical tests daily, each one needing technology to make use of it. This required their new system to have a 100% uptime, but cloud-based solutions presented conflicts with maintaining patient safety and privacy. Instead, BIH chose Dell EMC’s converged infrastructure platform, the Dell EMC VxBlock System which can satisfy the need for an always-on information while also doing away with expensive silos. According to Dell EMC, the final system configuration is as follows:
Dell EMC deployed two VxBlock Systems 540 with XtremIO All-Flash storage for the hospital’s data centres to run their mission-critical applications, including the Hospital Information System, electrophysiology lab applications and electronic nursing patient system. The VxBlock Technology Extensions for Isilon provided a cost-effective storage repository for large and small medical images, electronic medical records, genetics data, video and data analytics. To manage and process general workload data such as from ERP systems and other in-house applications, the Dell EMC Unity storage was deployed. Ensuring unparalleled data protection in the face of any business disruption, the Dell EMC VPLEX was implemented enabling 99.99999% application availability and data mobility across BIH’s data centres.
The hospital has been pleased with the success of the new system as it treats 1.1 million patients annually. IT no longer has to purchase stand-alone systems as the Dell EMC solution has proven itself capable of any need they have of it. This new system is allowing the medical center to stand out in the field of integrating healthcare and technology, and with that technology many new innovations become possible.
This article was based on a Dell EMC press release dated September 12, 2017. Read it here.
Box, a cloud-based storage and collaboration platform for businesses, recently announced new OCR capabilities for its product. The OCR, powered by Google Cloud Vision, automatically scans uploaded documents and extracts typed and handwritten text. This information is then saved as metadata, making searches easier and providing opportunities to expand the digitization of formerly paper processes. Images are also analyzed and catagorized into one of thousands of available categories, making the task easier for image-heavy companies and also making that information available for search queries.
Box has been adding integration to business services as of late with the addition of DocuSign and Salesforce. And, according to Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box: “By combining the machine learning capabilities of Google Cloud with the critical data that businesses manage and secure in Box, we are enabling our customers, for the first time, to unlock tremendous new value from their content, digitise manual workflows, and accelerate business processes.” He also notes that the new image indexing service has been quite helpful for a media company that deals with a large volume of images from different sources daily - they're now able to categorize their images effectively and use them in ways they haven't before. The same has been true for a retail company. The service is making full use of the OCR capabilities as well - it's being used by real estate developers to digitize workflows for paper-based leases and agreements.
“Box’s application of Google Cloud’s machine learning APIs [application programming interfaces] brings to life the potential of AI [artificial intelligence]in the enterprise,” said Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist at Google Cloud AI and professor of computer science at Stanford University.
“Understanding images remains a challenge for businesses and Box’s application of the Vision API demonstrates how the accessibility of machine learning models can unlock potential within a business’s own data. Ultimately, it will democratise AI for more people and businesses.”
The full potential of the technology will become more apparent with time, but for now it's making business easier and more streamlined for all sectors of business.
This article was based on a August 18, 2017 ComputerWeekly article by Cliff Saran. Read it here.
As information becomes digital more and more large companies are facing an increasing need to manage their Big Data needs with adaptable storage. What's taking up all their storage? Written records, customer service calls, IoT information, and other industry-specific information. For example, insurance giant IAG managed 80TB last year but now it's managing 2PB and that data store is growing by 14TB a month. All of this data falls under what the industry calls "volume, variety, and velocity" of data.
Our data needs are growing too - Cisco estimates that global internet traffic will crest 3.3ZB by 2021 a year. Monthly internet demand is also estimated to reach 35GB per capita. Though these numbers reflect a fair amount of data held on consumer devices, it does show that our consumption of data is on the rise.
At IAG, storage architecture largely consists of open source storage, and added commodity and converged storage in software-defined networks has enabled IAG to get storage in place more quickly when needed. This ability to access additional storage comes in handy for situations like natural disasters, where demand for insurance services and room to store associated data is high. However, this capability also comes with the need to balance cost with growth and capability. IAG manages this by deploying a shared OpenStack cluster with multiple hosting providers. It also has five storage tiers, with the highest tier being all flash. Each tier is designed with a 25% buffer for quick needs and is reviewed quarterly.
More and more companies are turning toward cloud and flash storage, but they all can't switch over just yet. Many are still running backups on different storage standards, and even daily software that isn't designed for the speed that these methods offer. To address this, Dell EMC has taken the approach of containerization, which lessens the demand for addtional resources, but that doesn't solve the issue that old software faces.
Cloud storage is no perfect method - it doesn't work for all software and latency is an issue - so for now its major use is in backup and recovery. However, as technology continues to develop we may see more of a reliance on cloud storage and processing for all things computing.
This article was based on a ComputerWeekly.com article by Beverley Head. Read it here.
Ever get frustrated with your phone's personal assitant not being able to understand you? Or have you received a transcribed voicemail that made no sense? Those days are numbered thanks to innovations at Microsoft - their AI's voice recognititon engine error rate has now reached an all time low of 5.1%; comparable to the error rate of humans' comprehension of speech. Microsoft credits "neural-net based acoustic and language models" for this improvement, as well as giving its AI the ability to analyze context when deciphering speech. For example, the phrase "let's leave it red" could be interpreted as "let's leave it read", which could prove to be a confusing transcription for recipients. However, if the AI has the opportunity to consider to the entire block of speech and hears the word "logo", "colors" and the like, it can safely assume that the conversation is about a design decision and "red" is the correct word. Or, if the speech talks about messages or replying, it can understand that "read" is correct. Microsoft technical fellow Xuedong Huang, who reported the error rate success, says that this has been a Microsoft research goal for 25 years.
Though a technological breakthrough, Microsoft's engine still faces challeneges in understanding speech in noisy environments, accents, and colloquial phrases. Plus, this success hasn't spread to other languages yet either, as each language handles individual elements differently and there may be limited training models available for less-spoken languages. However, Huang adds "Moreover, we have much work to do in teaching computers not just to transcribe the words spoken, but also to understand their meaning and intent. Moving from recognizing to understanding speech is the next major frontier for speech technology."
It remains to be seen just how influential AI understanding of speech will be, but it's poised to be a major technological development when it happens.
This article was based on an August 21, 2017 Business Insider article by Rob Price. Read it here.
OpenText, a gloabal leader in Enterprise Information Management and PaperFree partner, recently announced a successful project for Center for Life Management (CLM), a nonprofit behavioral health care provider based in New Hampshire. The solution addressed the need for faster records input and access, as well as decommissioned a decade old legacy EIM system that could not be scaled as the organization grew. OpenText chose ApplicationXtender and ECM Toolbox Workflow to meet CLM's needs, as well as provide room to grow in the future.
According to Patrick Ulmen, vice president and chief information officer at CLM, OpenText ApplicationXtender was chosen "because [they] wanted a system that would help us realize our mission of ‘Changing Lives, Saving Lives’, and do it in a responsible way. We don’t only deliver services, but also bill for the services, document the services, store records associated with the services, and then mine those records to figure out what we are doing well and what we can do better. We then take that information and drive it into improving services.”
In the past, CLM's front desk staff had the double duty of welcoming patients, gathering paper information and copies for manual input later, and for later visits catching any changes to the patient's information or insurance. Now, insurance cards are scanned during check in and back office staff is automatically notified of changes via ApplicationXtender's Workflow Manager. This allows billing to be done more accurately and front desk staff can more easily focus on preparing patients for their appointments.
Ulmen also notes that for non profits staffing can be a struggle - funds are carefully managed and a new system had to provide the resources for workers to do their jobs better. However, he notes that better worker resources meant that patients had a better experience at CLM. This better experience is facilitated by faster information lookup - which is down to 3 seconds. All final documents are also stored on the system and are accessible even if the electronic medical records go down. Faster data lookup has also returned increased productivity to the over 100 staff members who use the system daily. CLM is also taking advantage of ApplicationXtender in other ways by utilizing it to manage HR records as well.
CLM has been pleased with the results they've been seeing with OpenText ApplicationXtender and looks forward to the benefits it will bring to their organization.
This article was based on an August 8, 2017 press release by OpenText. Read it here.