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Cloud systems- a better solution for WFH situation

Working from home becoming the new normal as the pandemic, many organization leaders are finding their office buildings to be somewhat unnecessary, at least until the vaccination against the virus is widely distributed. And in these times the cloud is playing an essential role in IT importance. It became crucial for many companies to provide IT infrastructure as there was a substantial increase in the number of the businesses operating from their employees’ home. Cloud migration had to happen quickly and at a large scale so that the companies could cope up with the increased pressure on IT infrastructure. So it was very important for the businesses to ensure they have correct IT operations.

From building large private clouds to moving everything to the cloud can be called as cloud projects, moving applications to the cloud can be called the start of the cloud journey.

Giuseppe Paterio , an IT infrastructure Architect and Security expert shares some strong points which might help in delivering successful cloud projects. By following these , the companies can produce right solution to the projects.

As most open source products can be automated it makes them portable and easy to use. So using open source and open standards as much as possible in the applications is the first point. While choosing a data base as a service , making sure it runs on protocols such as MySQL or Postgres as this helps to export the data and Import somewhere else. It also provides more security , less vendor lock-ins and a better profitability across the systems.

To ensure high security standards moving the collaborations such as mail, documents , VoIP, drive sync to the cloud services is a good step as it also reduces the overall cost of ownership. Only use SaaS products if they are helping you reduce cost. Checking the prices and fine printing before buying providers which will allow to export the data in an open format. Whereas the applications with rigid hardware integrations or with high confidential data will remain off line.     

It is a common misinterpretation that the complicated things will have more benefits and might give better solutions. Many applications are complex but they fail in giving better solutions instead make things more complex as over engineering will always create solutions that also difficult to manage. So its better not to fall into the temptation of making things more complicated.

To have the freedom of choice , using the open source and open standards for data is the next step as it  will also help in avoiding lock-ins too. To create a process for quick transfer of the applications , using containers to distribute and run the applications along with automation systems makes it easier to move applications across the cloud systems or back on premises. If the application cannot be re-engineered , the lifting and shifting the virtual machines ( VMs ) with legacy workloads to an infrastructure as a software should help. Understanding the uptime requirement of an application can help save money to the companies- Not paying for services that are not needed. Many basic SLAs services work for most of the internal applications.

The networks which are crossed public or semipublic should not be trusted. As there is no clear divides nowadays , between an internal office network and the internet. In many companies the office network is just a transit network which can be said a slightly more secure than a home network. Applying protection walls as closely as possible to the applications is the next crucial step , since the traditional firewalls are no longer effective.

Keep multiple back ups or replicas off the cloud data in an open format which will allow to rebuild the infrastructure easily. Following these steps can help the companies have successful projects and payoffs. 

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AI role in customer experience in banking

The concept of banking first sprung up around 8000 BC. Then, there came various drastic changes to expand their services and innovate their business models. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are applied to help banks and financial institutions nowadays. A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed that 77% of banking executives believe that the use of AI will ultimately differentiate between winning and losing banks.

This pandemic has triggered a sudden socioeconomic shift from physical to digital. There is a rapid switch to digital channels. Recent research by YouGov was conducted in June 2021. And that revealed that digital services have become the de facto way of conducting business and access services during the pandemic. EIU’s survey showed that enhancing the user experience through better personalisation ranked first in the most valuable uses of AI.

Customer propositions are no longer fit-for-all. It involves both banking and non-banking products and services. To identify the customers’ needs the banks must take an entirely new approach to innovation. They should adopt a customer-centric view. This starts with understanding the customer needs. AI makes it much easier to analyse customer preferences. The redesigning of customer loyalty program gives banks an accurate understanding of customer. Effective personalization offers customers not only better leads but also a more unique experience. The customer experience can be improved by applying AI. Banks must also build out their capabilities to strike new partnerships.

Businesses across all industries are working hard to retain their customers, including banks. AI can become a banking institutions’ superpower. This can take the customer experience to new heights, resulting in happier and more loyal customers. It will also reduce a bank’s operating costs and enable increased revenue per customer. To become AI First, banks must focus on streamlining their technology layer. They also require a strategy to engage customers through channels owned by them and their non-banking partners. Business and technology must work hand in hand, with cross-functional teams breaking up organisational silos.

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Amazon to offer insurance to UK businesses

The technology giant’s first foray into business insurance in the country, broker Superscript said that Amazon is going to start offering insurance to small and medium-sized UK business customers. Members of Amazon’s Business Prime program will be able to buy cover from superscript such as contents insurance, cyber insurance and professional indemnity insurance. Superscript spokesperson said that those would be underwritten by major UK insurers. A discount of 20% will be offered to current rates. This is to entice the businesses over to them.

50% of customers are prepared to buy insurance from non-traditional players. A recent survey of 12,000 people globally by consultants Capgemini showed this. Cameron Shearer, co-founder and CEO of Superscript, said in a statement that the insurance industry needs to bridge the divide between insurers and customers. Amazon’s move into UK business insurance comes after U.S. insurtech Next Insurance said that it was offering cover to U.S. small businesses. And that too via Amazon Business Prime. Molly Dobson, Country Manager for Amazon Business UK & Ireland, said in the statement that as the businesses come out of the pandemic, they want customers to have the best-in-class tools to run their business.

Financial institutions are worried that tech firms will steal their business. But industry sources said that the insurers and tech firms are more likely to forge partnerships. Because of the given difficulties and expense for outsiders in entering the highly regulated finance sector. Amazon also offers warranty insurance and “buy now, pay later” services in Britain.

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In NFT fantasy soccer game, SoftBank leads funding

Blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare has raised $680 million. This is through a funding round, which is led by SoftBank. According to the company, it includes players such as ex-England international Rio Ferdinand and Spain’s Gerard Pique. Paris-based Sorare said that the investment valued the company at $4.3 billion. Sorare is an online game, since 2018. Here players buy officially licensed cards that represents soccer players. They can build teams and play against each other. This is based on the players’ performance in real-life games.

The cards are traded in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The market for NFTs has seen major growth in 2021. Michel Combes, president of SoftBank Group International, said that they think NFTs represent a new paradigm in the collectability, usability, and engagement with assets. This evolution from physical assets to digital assets is very powerful. This also creates a lot of exciting potential business models. NonFungible.com is a website that tracks NFT market data. According to them, Sorare is the largest sports-based NFT platform by sales volume. They are planning to open an office in the United States. So that they can expand into other games out of Sorare.

Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare said that they saw the immense potential that blockchain and NFTs brought to unlock a new way for football clubs, footballers, and their fans to experience a deeper connection with each other. They believe that this is a huge opportunity to create the next sports entertainment giant. Since January 2021, there have been $150 million of sales on Sorare. The fundraising round was SoftBank’s first time investing in Sorare. SoftBank’s Latin America fund also contributed. Other investors in Sorare’s raise are such as venture capital firms Accel and Bessemer Ventures, Pique, Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann and Spain’s Cesar Azpilicueta.

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