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With a modern data platform, any CIO can turn information into intelligence

By Zenobia Hegde

It’s been more than a decade since we first heard the phrase “data is the new oil.” But while this idea may well define the next generation of business, there’s important context surrounding it that often gets overlooked.

Since making this statement, many others have echoed these same words. What we now have come to realise is that data is a commodity, a raw material, and it’s only valuable when it can be turned into intelligence. Without the right tools to refine it, it’s just a bunch of ones and zeros. Study after study shows that while most enterprises understand the importance of data, they continue to struggle to draw real value from it, says Matt Mills, CEO and Board Member at MapR Technologies.

Amongst the most powerful and largest tech titans in the world, the idea of data turned into intelligence is gospel. It’s why companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft dominate the charts these days. They not only know the value of data, but also how to transform it from raw insight into a competitive advantage.

Unlike these companies, many organisations today are using 30-year old technologies to “refine” their data and are frustrated with the little progress they are making. The simple fact is that older technologies are often too fragile and simply aren’t built for the diversity or the sheer volume of data today. The fact of the matter is this is just the beginning. Many believe that from now on, data and the digital universe will double in size every two years.

Successful data-driven companies in the early stages of their digital transformation journeys are choosing a modern data platform that is both optimised for performance today and provides the speed, scale and reliability that are required for next-generation intelligent solutions.

The modern data platform has 10 key characteristics:

A single platform that performs analytics and applications at once
Manages all data from big to small, structured and unstructured, tables, streams, or files – all data types from any source
A database that runs rich data-intensive applications and in-place analytics
Global cloud data fabric that brings together all data from across every cloud to ingest, store, manage, process, apply, and analyse data as it happens
Diverse compute engines to take advantage of analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence
Delivers cloud economics by operating on any and every cloud of your choice, public or private
No lock-in, supporting open APIs
DataOps ready to champion the new process to create and deploy new, intelligent modern applications, products and services
Trusted with security built from the ground up
Streaming and edge first for all data-in-motion from any data source as data happens and enabling microservices natively

Many software products today can handle some aspects of modern day data platforms, but few if any can actually deliver on all of these requirements. This is where most companies get into trouble. They try to extend the software to do things it was never intended to do. These limitations are a key reason why many companies never reach their goals and objectives with data.

Here at MapR we have built the premier data platform for today — and tomorrow’s — leading enterprises. […]

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Dutch Blockchain company, LegalThings aims to update criminal justice via smartphone

By Zenobia Hegde

The justice system is known for many things, but efficiency is not one of them. Neither is being up-to-speed with technology. One joke goes that the unofficial IT slogan of the courts is, “Yesterday’s technology, tomorrow!”

Into this space comes LegalThings, an Amsterdam-based digital contracts company that’s aiming to update how those accused of a crime move through the justice system by making the law accessible while making judicial record-keeping more open and secure.

After winning a “blockathon” competition in September hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, LegalThings began a pilot project with the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands, known as the “Openbaar Ministerie,” or OM, in Dutch. The project aims to build a system to process low-level criminal offenders quickly and with more transparency. If successful, it could be a huge time- and money-saving enterprise for the government.

“What you see now [in the justice system] is there is a lot of procedures, and those procedures are important to create a fair legal system, but they’re also really labor-intensive,” said Arnold Daniels, a co-founder of LegalThings and its chief software engineer. “What we’re trying to do is create an alternative to that.”

How might that work in practice? Imagine someone nabbed for possession of a small amount of illicit drugs, a crime that, in the Netherlands, can carry a fine of a few hundred euros. There are a number of parties involved in processing such a law enforcement action: the police who catch the alleged offender, the forensics expert that examines the drugs, and the OM.

Depending on whether the forensic expert is on-site to test the drugs, processing such an enforcement action can take anywhere from several hours to a couple days, said Sanne Giphart, innovation manager at OM. While some record-keeping systems have been made digital, that’s an ongoing process, Giphart explained. Things can move slowly.

Arnold Daniels

By contrast, with the LegalThings application, the accused can get an explanation of the relevant law, choose whether to be represented by counsel, and agree to pay the relevant fine—all on their smartphone. All told, the actual processing of the offender takes about 30 minutes, and every step of the exchange is recorded, time-stamped, and made unchangeable using cryptography to ensure records can’t be fudged.

So far, OM, which is comparable to a mashup of the Department of Justice and local district attorneys in the U.S., has only experimented with the technology on “dummy data” involving a drug offense and a domestic violence offense, Giphart said. “The next step is to let people get familiar with this type of technology within the [OM] and then hopefully we can implement on one stream of cases.”

The challenges to implementing such a system are not purely technological. It also will likely require some changes in both public and institutional attitudes toward judicial record-keeping, said Daniels. “With this system, there’s really no backsies,” he explained. “You can correct it, but you can always see your initial action.”

Unlike other blockchain systems that use a publicly distributed ledger, the LegalThings project with OM allows […]

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Alchemy IoT introduces ‘IoT Asset Intelligence’ associated with Big Data, IoT and AI

By Zenobia Hegde

Alchemy IoT, a provider of AI-powered applications for industrial IoT, introduced “IoT Asset Intelligence,” a new industry approach that addresses the complexity and market fragmentation associated with Big Data, IoT and artificial intelligence. It outlines today’s disruptive mega-trends, and Alchemy’s industry insights and vision, before outlining practical steps organisations can use to align company goals, resources and teams toward value streams centered on industrial equipment, fleets and operational performance.

“IoT Asset Intelligence combines our best thinking into an actionable framework to plan, implement and gain value from AI-based IoT initiatives – especially for smaller organisations that may lack the resources for expensive consultants and data scientists,” said Victor Perez, CEO of Alchemy. “We are committed to the customer journey as much as the technology that is transforming the way industrial companies operate and win in the market.”

Recent studies by the International Data Corporation (IDC) estimate that by the year 2020 there will be 30 billion connected devices globally. With connected devices outputting sensor data 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the sheer scale of data production is staggering. The IoT Asset Intelligence framework provides practical steps for improving operational efficiencies, empowering better decision making, promoting collaboration and innovation, and delivering more value to the organisation.

The central theme of the IoT Asset Intelligence framework is visibility and efficiency through a blend of data-driven processes and a renewed culture around innovation and critical thinking. Like Lean and other operational improvement methods, IoT Asset Intelligence requires executive support and leadership to achieve sustainable success – as change and breaking with entrenched norms is as much a cultural “transformation” exercise as it is a process and technology play.

The following are the IoT Asset Intelligence core tenets:

Appoint an IoT champion: to be the single-point-of-contact, for the initiative and to help shift company culture.
Establish top-line goals and ROI opportunities: establish goals early in the process to have a clear path to success.
Conduct asset and process assessments: identify new data points to gain a strong understanding of what existing assets and processes exist in the organisation to better optimise them.
Identify processes for improvement and align new value streams: these processes are the best candidates for improvement.
Apply AI and machine learning for data analytics and automated workflows: not all data is good data – leverage AI to filter out irrelevant data to make data streams more powerful.
Present performance data in graphs for contextual 360-degree views: teams need to access performance data in a clear, visual representation that will allow them not only to see progress, but identify areas for improvement.
Integrate with existing ERP, EAM, MRO and MRP platforms: work with existing tools to optimise and enhance current processes, not just create new ones.
Provide graphical intelligence for executive decision-making and strategic planning: leverage data intelligence to make meaningful business decisions at the highest levels.
Practice continuous improvement: always improve – never be satisfied.

Alchemy will soon publish a comprehensive paper on the IoT Asset Intelligence framework that will be available from its website. For more information on the company, please […]

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Launch your IoT Smart products in 30 days – Longsys Technology delivers the Turnkey IoT End-to-End solution to the market

By IoT – Internet of Things

Longsys Technology has announced a revolutionary turnkey IoT End-to-End solution to enable existing products to go smart within 30 days, directly changing the period of development for an IoT device. In the past, companies have spent a lot time and money on initial their IoT solutions, to work with different parties like cloud service companies, […]

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Energy companies struggling to counter IoT security risks, finds research

By Zenobia Hegde

While the majority of energy companies are turning to the Internet of Things (IoT) to help them meet growing demands for power and operate with greater efficiency, too many lack the security procedures to successfully deploy IoT solutions. This is according to the latest research from Inmarsat (ISAT.L), which found that more than half of global energy businesses do not have the skills and understanding required to combat the security risks associated with IoT.

In May 2017 market research specialist Vanson Bourne interviewed senior IT decision makers from 100 large energy companies across the globe for Inmarsat’s ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise – 2017′ report. The research found that 53% of energy businesses identified a need to make heavy investments to meet both physical and digital IoT security requirements, and more than half (54%) reported that they needed additional digital skills in security to deliver successful IoT projects.

Moreover, just 30% reported that they have given special consideration to network security as part of the development of their IoT solutions, while only 38% have taken additional steps to protect against cyber-attacks.

These IoT security challenges may stem from a lack of understanding of IoT at board level within these organisations, potentially making it more difficult for project teams to secure the investment they need to effectively counter IoT security threats. In fact, according to the research, almost six in ten (59%) energy respondents stated that their board had either a partial or no understanding of IoT at all.

Commenting on the findings, Chuck Moseley, senior director for Energy at Inmarsat Enterprise said, “IoT represents a fundamental change in the way that energy grid networks and organisations will operate. The core operations of energy companies have traditionally been insulated from the destructive cyber-attacks that have destabilised other industries, as they were not connected to the internet.

But, with the advent of IoT, more and more parts of their infrastructure are being connected, creating new vulnerabilities and risks. Worryingly, our research shows that many energy businesses lack the security processes and skills to address these new vulnerabilities. This needs to be quickly addressed, and it must be driven by senior leadership within energy businesses, to ensure that they do not miss out on the huge potential value that IoT can bring to the energy sector.”

Moseley concluded: “For energy companies to thrive in this climate, IoT security needs to be at the top of the agenda and it is essential that boards raise their understanding of the risks they face. This involves ensuring that the fundamental network infrastructure underpinning device connectivity aligns with the highest security and reliability standards, and that the end points are configured correctly.”

Satellite communications networks can offer a more secure and reliable method of enabling energy companies to safely transport data from their connected things to and from anywhere on the planet. With up to 99.9% uptime, Inmarsat’s L-band services are enabling IoT solutions in the energy sector globally, even in the most remote and hostile environments.

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Seek Thermal To Debut New Technology and White Paper at the IoT Tech Expo North America

By IoT – Internet of Things

Seek Thermal™, the company behind some of the most groundbreaking, low cost, and high-resolution thermal imaging products and core platforms, is exhibiting at the IoT Tech Expo North America, November 29-30, 2017 in Santa Clara, CA.At the show, Seek Thermal is showcasing the company’s thermal imaging technology and demonstrating a concept designed specifically for IoT. […]

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Interconnecting legacy technologies and LTE will revolutionise operations in MCC, says ETELM

By Zenobia Hegde

Technologies in Mission Critical Communications (MCC) are incorporating functionality with LTE, but during this transition period, the performance must not be affected, says Pierre Minot, president of ETELM, a manufacturer of advanced Mission Critical communications infrastructures.

Speaking during a session titled ‘PMR broadband communication – technical implementation’ at PMRExpo in Germany, Minot commented: “LTE offers new broadband and data-hungry possibilities; however, it brings its own challenges. At present, there is a major drive to introduce more MC standards by working with users and manufacturers to ensure services are adopted internationally.”

“The process of standardisation is a long one – it takes time for standards to be tested and vendors to implement enhancements. While LTE is currently being utilised with consumers in mind, it is expected to take around five to seven years to reach full maturity for MC users, although certain features will be implemented sooner.”

ETELM has long championed LTE and TETRA working together, as opposed to replacing each other. This will enable legacy equipment and infrastructure to be revitalised, without the expense of upgrades each time a new technology becomes available. Minot explained the different use cases of migration from TETRA to LTE and the challenges that each of these use cases bring in terms of services, performances and devices.

Minot continued: “As smart cities develop around the world, it is important that MCC infrastructures are built during the initial planning, development, and design phase, rather than being an afterthought. This is the only way to ensure smart cities become safe cities. As blue light services continue to face increasingly challenging and complex situations, there is a need to bridge the channels between individual services, so they may come together and act as one, while utilising advanced applications.”

In response to the need for hybrid networks, ETELM’s 4GLinked solution is the first fully integrated platform connecting multiple MC technologies over a single LTE EPC core, allowing seamless communications and services across technologies – to the benefit of any use case.

“Performance is a key factor that only a fully standardised solution that doesn’t bring any third-party technology can ensure,”continued Minot. “With ETELM’s 4GLinked solution, it is one unified, standardised platform that is much easier to maintain and operate than having several infrastructures connected by gateways.”

4GLinked was successfully tested with many vendors at the ETSI MCPTT Plugtests in June 2017 and all interfaces are compliant with ETSI/3GPP LTE rel13. 4GLinked has also been successfully deployed and tested by customers.

ETELM is well known for its more than 35 years’ experience developing advanced radio communications infrastructure. With continuous innovations, ETELM has overcome legacy issues by integrating its TETRA solution to the LTE Core, which enables its TETRA base stations to connect directly to the same LTE Core network as any 4G LTE base station.

To find out more about ETELM, visit booth F01 at PMRExpo in Frankfurt, Germany (28-30 November 2017), or for further information, visit the website.

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Maxim Integrated Showcases Turnkey Security Solutions for Protecting Embedded Systems at TRUSTECH 2017

By IoT – Internet of Things

At TRUSTECH 2017 in Cannes, France (November 28-30, 2017), Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. will demonstrate new turnkey technologies that protect embedded and connected systems from invasive attacks. As cyberattacks continue making headlines, design engineers struggle to safeguard their products while meeting stringent time-to-market and budget constraints. Meanwhile, safety standard certification costs continue to rise. Maxim’s embedded […]

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Huawei and Gemalto team up to accelerate NarrowBand IoT deployments

By Zenobia Hegde

To help device manufacturers meet a growing demand for long-lasting low-power NarrowBand (NB) IoT modules, Gemalto and Huawei – via its semiconductor arm, HiSilicon – are working together to develop the next generation of modules that combine an extra level of security and consume very low power.

By combining the expertise from both companies, these NB-IoT modules will help manufacturers reduce the cost and size of their devices, and lengthen the battery life of the devices to up to ten years.

NB IoT has been developed to address lower bit rates and lower cost segments, and works virtually anywhere. It offers ultra-low power consumption enabling devices to be battery operated for periods of up to 10 years. Applications include smart parking sensors, intruder and fire alarms, personal healthcare appliances, tracking devices, and street lamps to name a few. According to ABI Research, NB IoT modules connecting objects to networks are forecast to represent over 20% of all cellular shipments by 2021.

“2017 is the year of commercial NB IoT rollouts for us, and we will be building 30 such networks in 20 countries worldwide by the end of the year. Huawei has been a major player in this arena, and we continue to capitalise on this vast opportunity,” said XiongWei, president of LTE solution, Huawei.

“We look to supply the market with solutions that provide stable connectivity, low energy consumption, and cost efficiency. The network roll-out will now come with an enhanced integration and flexibility thanks to this collaboration with Gemalto.”

“The combination of our expertise in IoT cellular connectivity, and digital s​ecurity, and Huawei’s high-performance NB IoT chipsets will help device manufacturers and service providers take the plunge into cellular IoT mass deployment thanks to a standardised solution,” said Suzanne Tong-Li, SVP Greater China and Korea for Mobile Services and IoT and China president, Gemalto. “Our collaboration simplifies the implementatio​​​n of NB IoT projects combining solid security and flexibility.”

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Trusted Objects introduces its personalisation tool kit for IoT Secure Element prototyping and testing

By Zenobia Hegde

In the Internet of Things industry, many systems integrators and application developers are facing obstacles when developing and testing security solutions in their applications. Due to IoT market fragmentation, the personalisation of a small volume of Secure Elements can be challenging for an industry used to deal with billions of devices in a consolidated market.

To solve this issue and allow application developers to be totally reactive to market demands Trusted Objects is introducing its personalisation tool kit that allows systems integrators to effortlessly personalise Secure Elements in order to easily set up a Proof of Concept whenever they want to address new markets, develop new applications, or simply test new features.

Trusted Objects personalisation tool kit includes hardware equipment dedicated to initialising and personalising small quantities of Secure Elements. The kit is delivered with user-friendly software that allows application developers to start personalising their Secure Elements with just three clicks, and an installation guide. Security is a very serious matter at Trusted Objects, so while the tool kit usage is limited to downloading standardised test keys within the Secure Elements; it has to be operated in a secure environment compliant with Trusted Objects security guidelines.

When the application developers are ready to evolve from the POC to real-size applications, Trusted Objects and its partners propose their services to adapt personalisation procedures to large batches of Secure Elements with diversified keys, generated under secure conditions in a certified secure environment.

Trusted Objects personalisation tool kit will be available from January 2018 onwards.

Sami Anbouba, CEO of Trusted Objects, declares: “As security is now on top of the agenda of the IoT market, our aim is to facilitate the adoption of Secure Elements for end-to-end solutions. With our personalisation tool kit, application developers can start their POC within a very short time frame, and then, get our dedicated support when switching to a real life secure application.”

Trusted Objects will be exhibiting at Trustech, a major event for the secure transactions industry, taking place in Cannes, France, on November 28 – 30, 2017. Come and visit us on booth Lerins C 006.

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