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27-03-2017
Singapore, Malaysia have lowest employee engagement scores in Asia

Singapore's employee engagement score fell by 4 points to 59 percent, according to the 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement Report from Aon Hewitt.Singapore's decline is significant when compared to the 3-point increase last year.Perception scores among Singapore's millennials fell by an alarming 7 points in the area of 'Talent and Staffing'--which refers to the talent attraction, promotion, and retention practices of an organization, as well as its ability to allocate appropriate and adequate resources to get the job done. Perception scores also fell by 5 points in the area of Employer Brand.Employees in Singapore join their Malaysian counterparts in being the least engaged among major Asian markets. Engagement scores for India are 69%, followed by China (67%), Thailand (65%), Philippines (65%), Indonesia (61%), and Malaysia (59%).Overall engagement scores for employees in Asia Pacific dropped from 65 percent to 62 percent a year ago. Aon Hewitt's analysis found regional variations in engagement are driven by regional and country-specific economic, political and cultural differences.Improving Engagement Pays Big DividendsAon Hewitt research shows that a 5 point increase in employee engagement is linked to a 3 point increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year. The inverse happens when engagement levels fall--businesses experience greater turnover, higher absenteeism, and lower customer satisfaction, and ultimately, poor financial performance.Employees in the region ranked rewards and recognition programmes as a top opportunity to improve engagement."As organizations strive to fuel growth, they must understand how their workforce productivity and pay programmes--both fixed and variable, compare to market,” says Stephen Hickey, Partner and Executive Sponsor, Employee Engagement Practice--Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Aon Hewitt.“They must educate their people on how they implement 'pay for performance', and recognize top contributors using a blend of financial and non-financial rewards such as development opportunities."   

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26-03-2017
Singapore forms Smart Nation and Digital Government Group

The Singapore government has been applying digital and smart solutions to citizen services and businesses since the launch of the Smart Nation initiative in late 2014.To enable the government to be more integrated and responsive in this strategy, it several organizational changes will take effect from 1 May 2017, including the formation of the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).This new office will comprise staff from the Digital Government Directorate of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Government Technology Policy department in the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), and the Smart Nation Programme Office (SNPO) in the PMO.The Government Technology Agency (GovTech), a statutory board under MCI, will be placed under the PMO as the implementing agency of SNDGO. Collectively, the two organizations will form the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) in the Prime Minister’s Office.GovTech said the SNDGG will be tasked to apply digital and smart technologies to improve citizens’ lives in key domains, in partnership with other government agencies, industry, and the public. One such key domain is urban mobility. Though the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been using data analytics to better manage bus fleets, reduce crowdedness and improve timeliness, it has also been experimenting with self-driving vehicle technologies. The SNDGG will work with LTA to further exploit existing and emerging technologies to improve public transport, enhance urban logistics and reduce congestion so as to enhance the commuter experience.SNDGG will likewise build on the ongoing work by GovTech to enhance data sharing through data.gov.sg, and partner with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to promote e-payments. The goal is a national digital identity framework that would facilitate digital transactions.Another important objective is to strengthen government ICT infrastructure. Thus, the SNDGG will see to it that digital capabilities are enhanced within government, including in areas such as data science and IoT.A Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean will oversee the SNDG. Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, will be Deputy Chairman and Minister-in-charge of Cybersecurity and the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA).   Caption: Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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26-03-2017
Consortium to build a smart mobility system for Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), HKT Limited (HKT), Huawei Technologies Co. Limited (Huawei) and Qualcomm Technologies Inc. recently formed a Smart Mobility Consortium on Cellular-Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technologies.The move, which is in support of the government’s vision to transform Hong Kong into a Smart City, is envisioned to utilize C-V2X technologies to enhance the smart mobility pillar beyond the existing aims of efficient mobility, efficient logistics, barrier-free community and adaption of intelligent technology.As one of the most connected cities in the world and a major global financial hub, Hong Kong is an ideal place to pioneer the implementation of smart mobility system and showcase for the improvement of road safety. With 10 million-plus passenger journeys in Hong Kong's public and private transport system every day, the territory has a robust telecommunications infrastructure and high-adoption rate of digital technologies, which are offers a strong foundation for businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators to explore the potential of smart mobility.The consortium said they would introduce a series of Intelligent Transport Services (ITS) in Hong Kong, including a warning mechanism for collision and control, assistance for cruise control and parking, and alert systems for speed and lane violations. It would also help drivers and traffic administrators to identify potential loopholes and risks in aspects like road intersections, pedestrian crossings and traffic queues.C-V2X technologies operates through both network-based communications on commercial cellular infrastructure, as well as direct communications over the 5.9GHz band. A C-V2X powered smart mobility system not only allows vehicles to connect to the cloud, but also enables vehicles to communicate with one another as well as with pedestrians, and to synchronize with infrastructure. It can also support law enforcers, traffic and urban management institutions, and transportation companies to plan and monitor the safety and efficiency of traffic movements.“Hong Kong is a well-connected city with good infrastructure. If we complement these strengths with the latest innovation in science and technology, Hong Kong can become one of the most sophisticated and advanced smart cities in the world,” said Wong Ming-yam, Chairman of ASTRI.   ASTRI is developing state-of-the-art applications, platforms and prototypes which can benefit not just Hong Kong, but potentially other cities in the region.Alex Arena, Group Managing Director of HKT, added that with the emerging 5G technology, autonomous driving will revolutionize the experience of transport in Hong Kong. The consortium plans to work alongside the government, the automobile industry, and other relevant industry stakeholders to make this happen. Upon successful completion and rollout, the project is expected to lead to further opportunities for related sectors including shipment, ridesharing, home-delivery, insurance, infotainment, and mobile healthcare.“We believe Cellular V2X will bring unique value such as safety, efficiency and friendly environment for the Intelligent Transportation System effectively with other assistant driving technologies” said Veni Shone, President of TDD Product Line and Acting President of Cellular V2X Solutions, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. The multi-year project is expected to involve a dedicated team of experts from different areas, who will help accelerate the transformation of Hong Kong’s transportation system into a truly state-of-the-art ecosystem. “We are very excited to work with ASTRI, HKT and Huawei to bring our vision of a Smart City to life here in Hong Kong,” said Mantosh Malhotra, Senior Director, Business Development, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. ​ Caption: Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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26-03-2017
​NTU Singapore, Schaeffler to develop smart mobility devices

With the opening of a new joint research lab by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Schaeffler Group, next-generation personal mobility devices may soon become a reality in Singapore.    The project, which has a combined funding of S$5 million ($) over three years, will study various aspects of personal urban mobility and intelligent transportation systems for megacities of the future.The research projects include studying human user behavior on personal mobility devices in Singapore and the development of portable smart technologies that can enhance the users' safety and last-mile experience. Schaeffler Group, a global automotive and industrial components supplier headquartered in Germany, will set up the lab as part of the Schaeffler Hub for Advanced Research at NTU (SHARE at NTU).The new lab, Schaeffler’s first SHARE lab outside Europe, is housed at NTU’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.“NTU has deep expertise in smart mobility technologies and a strong track record of industry collaborations. Together with Schaeffler, we aim to develop innovative personal transport solutions that will be safer and more efficient, which will support Singapore’s drive towards a car-lite society,” said NTU Vice President (Research) and Chief of Staff, Professor Lam Khin Yong.Andreas Schick, Schaeffler’s Asia-Pacific CEO, said the long-term vision is to develop Singapore as a hub for research and innovation for urban mobility. “The proactive efforts from the government of Singapore make it a highly conducive place for developing technologies for future megacities and Schaeffler is keen to tap into these opportunities, working together with the big and highly educated talent pool,” he said.Both organizations signed a master research agreement at the NTU’s campus, where Schaeffler demonstrated some of its advanced technology concepts for personal mobility, including the E-Board, an electronic skateboard-like device that comes with a control stick, and an e-bike equipped with an automatic bicycle gearshift system.Two models of Schaeffler’s future-oriented four-wheeled bio-hybrid that offer electric-assisted pedaling in a four-wheel format, were also showcased at the signing ceremony.The partnership between NTU and Schaeffler will ride on the NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Test Bed, which consists of vehicles equipped with smart units and roadside units with video cameras mounted on street lamps throughout the NTU campus.Schaeffler is also part of the NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Consortium, which was founded by NTU and NXP Semiconductors with 12 industry members to develop innovations in smart mobility. Caption: Schaeffler advanced technology concepts include the E-Board and an e-bike equipped with an automatic bicycle gearshift system. (Photo from NTU Singapore)

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26-03-2017
Singapore leads use of intelligent technologies to meet citizens' demands

Public sector agencies in Singapore have a strong appetite for intelligent technologies, including biometrics and identity analytics, machine learning, and advanced analytics and predictive modeling, that are revolutionizing the way citizen demands are addressed.  A new research report from Accenture also shows that the use of these technologies is helping overcome persistent challenges such as regulatory compliance, outdated legacy IT infrastructures and organizational cultures.Accenture polled nearly 800 public service technology professionals across nine countries to identify emerging technologies being implemented or piloted. The survey found that nearly half (48 percent) of the agencies already implementing advanced analytics technologies that include predictive modeling said their chief objective in implementing these tools is to improve and support their employees’ work, and 80 percent of respondents said that implementing emerging technologies will improve employees’ job satisfaction.Biometrics solutions (e-passports and iris recognition), on the other hand, are in widespread use, with Singapore and Australia topping the charts with 68 percent of agencies implementing such technologies, followed by those in Japan (57 percent), France (42 percent) and the UK (34 percent). The primary business objectives for the use of biometrics and identity analytics technologies was reducing risk and improving security (preventing fraud, system abuse, crime) — Singapore (55 percent), Australia (35 percent), Japan (36 percent).Advanced analytics are being commonly used to measure agency performance, with half of the respondents at both pensions and social security and revenue agencies ranking it the top priority (50 percent and 49 percent, respectively). In Singapore, 30 percent of agencies use advanced analytics with predictive modeling and intelligent automation as a better way of working.Security, privacy, and digital trust concerns are challenges in every country in the survey, but top concerns in Singapore (54 percent), Australia (53 percent) and Japan (46 percent). Addressing data privacy and security issues are the most common use for analytics across several types of agencies, cited by 52 percent of respondents at border services agencies, 46 percent of respondents at revenue organizations, and 39 percent of respondents at pension / social security agencies.Improving service delivery to meet customer expectations was one of the lowest-rated uses for advanced analytics, with only two percent of border services agencies, five percent of pensions and social security agencies, six percent of policing and justice agencies, seven percent of revenue agencies and eight percent of administrative functions agencies identifying it as a top priority.Integrated social service agencies, at 15 percent, had the highest percentage of respondents citing ìimproving service delivery to meet customer expectationsî as a top priority for using advanced analytics.But, when the priority is improving citizen satisfaction, officials chose more-emergent technologies such as video analytics, biometrics, machine learning and the Internet of Things, according to survey results. More than three-fourths (78 percent) of respondents report that implementing machine-learning technologies are either underway or completed.The survey, however, found that while more than two-thirds (70 percent) of public sector agencies are evaluating the potential of emerging technologies, only a small percentage (25 percent) are moving beyond the pilot phase to full implementation. This indicates that awareness is not translating into realized value for the majority of agencies surveyed. While most agencies are using traditional business technologies, emerging technologies -- like advanced analytics that include predictive modeling — are making the biggest inroads.“Emerging technologies are proving to have tremendous potential value for enabling public service agencies to not only meet their key internal resource challenges but also provide innovative approaches to address the evolving needs of their citizens,” said Ng Wee Wei, Managing Director, Health & Public Service, ASEAN & Singapore at Accenture. “Agencies need to rotate to the new, embracing the full value of using data to take advantage of the power of social, mobile and self-serve technologies that the world is demanding,” he added. Caption: Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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26-03-2017
UAE to use vocal emotion AI for national happiness program

The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Interior and Japan’s Smartmedical Corp. have agreed to use a vocal emotion recognition technology for UAE’s national happiness program.The technology from Smartmedical, which is called Empath, identifies emotions in real-time, regardless of the language, by analyzing multiple physical properties of the voice. It was officially adopted in the inauguration ceremony of the UAE's national campaign "Express your love for UAE" in October 2016. Smartmedical Corp. also launched the Emotion AI Android app called "I Love UAE" for the campaign.“To enhance the happiness of the Emirati people, we have to continuously measure and track their emotional health,” said Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Shafar, Ministry of Interior Undersecretary. “In this respect, Smartmedical's Empath is a great instrument to measure people's happiness and positivity. It's easy-to-use and convenient for analyzing emotion in real-time from vocal inputs. We are very pleased to be introducing it to enhance our national happiness campaign.”  The UAE government established the world's first Ministry of Happiness in 2016 to achieve a happier society as a national project. They conducted a national happiness and positivity survey in December 2016 for citizens of various nations, including tourists. "The UAE's happiness program is innovative and unique. However, the problem with measuring happiness and positivity is that it tends to be a subjective judgment," said Takaaki Shimoji, Board Director of Smartmedical Corp. "The strength of Empath is that it measures happiness as an objective indicator by analyzing people's emotions."Both parties said they intend to measure the happiness of UAE Ministry of Interior employees as the first step of the collaboration.

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26-03-2017
Competition launched in Singapore to find new solutions to metabolic diseases

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, in cooperation with A*STAR's ETPL, through its Diagnostics Development Hub, and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), recently launched a global competition that seeks to find solutions to metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.The Singapore QuickFire Challenge-Metabolic Disease Innovation, which will run from 22 March 2017 until 17 May 2017, aims to identify breakthrough solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of metabolic diseases as they are reaching epidemic proportions in Asia-Pacific. Johnson & Johnson Innovation said diabetes currently affects over 250 million people in the region and is expected to impact the lives of over 500 million people in China and India alone by 2030. Obesity is also growing particularly fast in China, with the disease burden rising from 11.3 percent to 27.9 percent of adults, and from 5.7 percent to 18.8 percent of youths aged 19 and below between 1980 and 2013.   By empowering innovators to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions, the QuickFire Challenge commits to working in partnership to nurture the healthcare ecosystem in Singapore and in other innovation hotspots around the world."We are passionate about working side-by-side with innovators to develop ideas for today's most pressing healthcare needs. Our strategic partnership with ETPL and SMART emphasizes that we are determined to grow and nurture healthcare ecosystems in global innovation hotspots like Singapore," said Dong Wu, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Asia-Pacific.At the end of the competition, three winners will be awarded SGD100,000 ($) each to complete the research in Singapore. They will also each have access to ETPL laboratory space, and one year of mentorship and coaching by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, ETPL, and SMART staff. To qualify to join the challenge, at least one core team member of the applicants must reside in Singapore for no less than 50 percent of the term of the grant. All finalists will receive eight weeks of mentorship.The challenge is supported by SPRING Singapore, an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for helping Singapore enterprises grow and building trust in Singapore products and services.​

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25-03-2017
Adobe Advertising Cloud seeks to bridge gap between TV and digital

At the Adobe Summit held in Las Vegas this week, Adobe unveiled Adobe Advertising Cloud, a programmatic platform that the company says is the first end-to-end platform for managing advertising across traditional TV and digital formats.Designed for videoAccording to Adobe, the new platform combines capabilities from Adobe Media Optimizer (AMO) and recently acquired TubeMogul to simplify the delivery of video, display and search advertising across channels and screens.The Advertising Cloud offers three offerings, namely AMO Search, AMO Demand Side Platform to automate display, social, video and programmatic TV buying, and AMO Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) for dynamic creative optimization that is tied into the Creative Cloud.Billed as the most comprehensive platform to plan, buy and measure advertising, Adobe says advertisers can reach a range of audience, whether they are searching, on their social network or watching linear TV. Importantly, the platform identifies overlaps to help marketers to reach their audience in a cost-effective fashion.Taking a stab at the growing furor over YouTube, Adobe also pointed to various tools and safeguards in the Adobe Advertising Cloud that are designed to ensure that brand safety, media quality and transparency are never compromised.While talking about the service on stage, an Adobe spokesperson addressed a top grouse of traditional media buying, noting: “We are incentive to maximize [your] ROI, not to just finish all your budget.”Largest independent platformAdobe claims that the Adobe Advertising Cloud is the largest independent advertising platform, with transparent fees and no media markups to ensure that its objectives are always aligned with that of advertisers’.Indeed, the platform is already widely in use already manages around $3.5 billion in annualized ad spend on behalf of more than 1,000 global brands, including brands such as Johnson & Johnson and Draft.“With Adobe Advertising Cloud, brands can centralize all advertising planning and buying through one trusted platform with full transparency into exactly where their ads appear and how effective they are at driving business results,” said Brett Wilson, the vice president and general manager of Advertising at Adobe in a statement.“We are bridging longstanding media gaps – not just between TV and digital, but also between brand and performance advertising,” said Wilson.Further reading:Adobe Experience Cloud launchedAdobe buy signals the collision of martech and adtech worldsDigital marketing is all about the customers, says Adobe Caption: Image credit: Adobe

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25-03-2017
Adobe Experience Cloud launched

Adobe this week took the wraps off the Adobe Experience Cloud, a comprehensive set of cloud services designed to give enterprises everything they need to deliver exception customer experiences.It’s about the experienceThe Adobe Experience Cloud will encapsulate existing products such as the Marketing Cloud, Adobe Analytics Cloud, as well as the just announced Adobe Advertising Cloud. The latter is Adobe’s programmatic platform for media planning and buying across TV and digital devices.The Experience Cloud is built on the Adobe Cloud Platform, and as such integrates with the Adobe Creative Cloud and Document Cloud.The move to put the Marketing Cloud under the Experience Cloud is perhaps inevitable, and can be viewed as an affirmation of Adobe’s mission to help brands adapt to an era of experience mobility. Among others, this entails delivering highly personalized experiences that are contextually relevant and delivered in real-time across devices, time and location.Speaking to CMO Innovation at a press briefing, Haresh Kumar, the director of strategy and product marketing, Mobile and Connected Experience at Adobe elaborated that the Adobe Experience Cloud will work with third-party tools. “Our architecture is API based. It’s really a framework. Anything can be connected to it. If you are sophisticated, you can customize it your own way,” said Kumar.Enhancements and partnershipsElsewhere, Adobe also announced new enhancements to its Adobe Cloud Platform, the company’s cross-cloud architecture that unifies content and data. A key update would be new Sensei capabilities for enterprise customers as well as various new tools and partner integrations.Billed as the intelligence layer to the Adobe Cloud Platform, the Adobe team showcased various AI and machine learning features to help address challenging topics such as anomaly analysis and contribution analysis. In addition, partners such as AppDynamics, ForeSee, Mastercard, Ooyala, SapientRazorfish and others also announced new Adobe Experience Cloud integrations.“New enhancements to the Adobe Cloud Platform extends the functionality of the Creative Cloud, Document Cloud and Adobe’s new Experience Cloud so that enterprises can more easily deliver compelling experiences at scale,” said Abhay Parasnis, executive vice president and CTO at Adobe.“Innovation in Adobe Sensei, our AI, machine learning and deep learning framework, dramatically accelerates and improves the design and delivery of experiences across any customer touch point,” he said.Further reading:Adobe: Singapore marketers need to helm the digital business transformationAdobe on why businesses must ride the ‘experience business’ waveDigital marketing is all about the customers, says Adobe Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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23-03-2017
Google Ad controversy spreads beyond the UK

How can you ensure that your company digital ad does not appear next to a controversial site, fake news articles or even next to malicious news content?And what if your video ad appears on or next to racist or malicious video on YouTube?When you are dealing with mega programmatic ad platforms like Google and Facebook, which eMarketer said cornered 47% of the global digital ad market in 2016, is often difficult to address these issues.For many CMOs, they are often in the dark on when and where their digital ads will correctly appear, and often rely on the platforms itself to make the right decisions.Now, the tide is turning with global CMOs and large agencies pressurizing Google to offer more control on how and where the ads will appear.It started in the UK.Early this month, high-profile companies, including the Guardian, HSBC Holdings, and L’Oreal, along with the UK government stopped using Google’s ad network when they found out that their ads appeared next to anti-Semitic, white supremacy and terrorist-related websites and video content.Havas, a top French advertiser, followed with the same action, while others started asking Google how this could have happened.Google responded in a blog that they are committed to making "information universally accessible and useful" while pointing out that it has taken down almost 2 billion improper ads and over 100,000 publishers. More importantly, it admitted that it needs to give advertisers greater control and stated that it would review policies and make changes.Not enough, say advertisers around the region.AT&T and Verizon, key US advertisers, pulled its ad spending from YouTube and Google Display Network.Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline suspended ad spending on Google except for search.Johnson & Johnson and Enterprise Holdings, a rental car firm, announced that they were also canceling advertising on YouTube. Meanwhile, Distiller Beam Suntory Inc. indicated that it has scaled back some ads with Google.While this controversy has not impacted Google's main revenue base—ads on top of search results—they are certainly affecting bottom lines.The onus is now on Google to create policies and improve advertiser's transparency and control over placement of ads.It is unsure how Google is going to address this growing global concern, whether through new technologies, policies or both.No matter the outcome, the unfolding saga underscores the importance of transparency and sound management—especially when using programmatic ad platforms.Further reading:Getting to what matters with design thinkingBroadcast TV fights back digital media dominance with OpenAPMore programmatic ads found violating IAB guidelines  Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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23-03-2017
Publicis, Microsoft to create new AI capabilities for CMOs

CMOs looking to transform their teams to be more efficient will soon be able to count on AI from their agencies.A new strategic alliance between global marketing agency Publicis Groupe and Microsoft Corp aims to create AI capabilities that help CMOs to transform their organizations. The recently-announced partnership will see new AI-inspired solutions developed to improve marketing operations and create new customer experiences.According to the Pucblicis’ press statement, this marriage of data and technologies will help the agency to help CMOs and brands to “reimagine their digital operations at scale” using online and offline data."Our partnership with Microsoft is an example of how we combine our unique assets and services with their cutting-edge cloud and AI technology to help transform our Clients business in powerful new ways,” said Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer and member of Directoire+, Publicis Groupe.The partnership continues Publicis’ efforts to shore up its AI capabilities and build on its Power of One strategy, the company’s client-centric strategy.The combined effort will see the global agency combining its marketing and data capabilities with Microsoft Azure and the Cortana Intelligence Suite.“Our new partnership harnesses the power of predictive analytics, deep learning and natural user interfaces with the scale and security of our enterprise cloud,” said Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president, data group at Microsoft.The new capabilities will be available to all agencies across the Publicis Groupe global network, helping their clients to use AI to learn, reason and predict customer journeys, and explore new revenue streams.Further reading:Chinese money set to shape adtechGetting to what matters with design thinkingMarketers must separate the ‘hot’ from the hype Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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23-03-2017
Michelin taps BT for cloud services

BT has delivered the first milestones of its contract with tyre manufacturer Michelin, designed to transform its global network infrastructure and provide all the advantages of the latest network, unified communications and security technologies. The contract was signed late 2016 and is now in deployment phase. Under the terms of this five-year contract, BT is to provide Michelin with managed network services for 216 sites in 43 countries across all continents. Managed from France, the services covered by the contract are set to play an important role in delivering Michelin’s strategic IT transformation program. Agnès Mauffrey, Group CIO of Michelin, said they are driven to look for new ideas to improve the performance of our products and the efficiency of our business. “We see a great match between these requirements and BT’s global reach, local in-country capabilities and strong global portfolio,” said Mauffrey. “Our aim is to create a platform for digital innovation which will give our people around the world high performance access to cloud-based services, allowing them to collaborate more effectively, she said. “This is being done in a secure and reliable environment over which we have complete control.” Luis Alvarez, CEO of BT’s global services division, said BT will support Michelin globally through a dedicated network operations centre and provide centralised network management. The contract includes services from several areas of the BT portfolio: BT Connect (network services), BT Security (security services), BT One (unified communications and collaboration services) and BT Advise (professional services). “We understand how important digital is to our customers and how cloud services integration can contribute to their success,” said Alvarez. “In the midst of this digital revolution, we also make sure that organizations retain control of their IT, so that the performance, reliability and security of their cloud applications meet all their business requirements.”

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23-03-2017
3 in 5 workers worldwide now working from anywhere

About three-fifths (62%) of the global working population are quite literally working from anywhere, according to a worldwide survey of at least 25,000 respondents across generations, including over 2,000 from Singapore. The survey found two other major flexible working trends that were commonly shared across the 12 countries it covered. First, being able to work from anywhere is believed to boost performance with 98% of all respondents, believing that anywhere working has a positive impact on productivity. Second, 91% of respondents believe video collaboration helps improve workplace relationships and teamwork. Polycom said these results suggest that flexible workplace success is about providing the right environment that allows individuals and teams to work together productively to deliver great results. Mei Lin Low, director of APAC solutions marketing at Polycom, said collaboration technology can now give people the freedom to work the way they want, regardless of where they are. “Flexible working is becoming business-normal; employees expect it and employers need to establish flexible working policies to attract and retain their best talent,” said Mei. Among the technology-savvy millennials,(18-30 year olds) 62% were concerned that they would not be perceived as hard-working if they were not in the office. In Asia Pacific (APAC), almost 60% of workers in Singapore, Australia, and India are working flexibly on a frequent basis. In China, 85% of people surveyed said their company offered flexible working arrangements with 87% stating they work with a colleague located in a different office. In Singapore, only half of respondents are working flexibly, but 75% of those working from anywhere have seen a significant improvement in their work life balance. The results clearly indicated that consistency matters to workers in Singapore as 67% said they’d feel more confident working flexibly if they knew that the same policy was applicable to everyone across the company. From a lifestyle point of view, taking care of children (37%) and having more time to exercise (31%) are top reasons people like to have the option to work anywhere in Singapore.

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23-03-2017
NVIDIA, Bosch unveil AI self-driving car computer

NVIDIA with the help of Bosch unveiled a small AI car supercomputer at Bosch Connected World, an annual conference dedicated to the Internet of Things. The collaboration with Bosch represents the first announced DRIVE PX platform incorporating NVIDIA’s forthcoming Xavier technology. Xavier can process up to 30 trillion deep learning operations a second while drawing just 30 watts of power. Danny Shapiro, NVIDIA’s Senior Director of Automotive, said such power is needed to achieve what the automotive industry refers to as “Level 4 autonomy,” where a car can drive on its own, without human intervention. Analysts project that the number of cars with various levels of autonomy will grow to a total of 150 million vehicles by 2025. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said his company will deliver technology enabling Level 3 autonomous capabilities (in which a car can drive on its own but still needs a driver to intervene under various conditions) by the end of this year, and Level 4 capabilities by the end of 2018. Huang noted that a wide range of leading brands are working on autonomous solutions — from traditional carmakers like Audi, Ford and BMW, to new competitors like Tesla, and technology innovators like Waymo, Uber and Baidu. Such vehicles will require unprecedented levels of computing power, due to the profound complexity posed by self-driving. Huagn said coded software can’t possibly be written that would anticipate the nearly infinite number of things that can happen along the road. Huang added that while cars on the road now are capable of detecting vehicles in front of them and braking when needed, the requirements for autonomous driving are dramatically more demanding. “We’ve really supercharged our roadmap to autonomous vehicles,” said Huang. “We’ve dedicated ourselves to build an end-to-end deep learning solution. Nearly everyone using deep learning is using our platform.”

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23-03-2017
StarHub boosts Singapore’s Smart Nation push

StarHub has opened its 58,000 square feet innovation centre and converged operations cockpit named Hubtricity, which acts as a foundation to accelerate service innovation and co-creation with partners and customers. In so doing, StarHub will help transform Singapore into a vibrant and connected Smart Nation, enhancing people’s everyday lives, strengthening enterprise capabilities and deepening Singapore’s international connectivity. The centerpiece at Hubtricity is the converged command cockpit, where StarHub with real-time data can monitor how its fixed, mobile and pay TV networks and services are performing and understand how customers are using and responding to its service offerings through call-centre metrics and social media analytics. Tan Tong Hai, CEO of StarHub said Hubtricity is derived from three words Hubbing – the convergence of technology and services; Tri – the three core networks that power Hubbing; and City – where it is about the consumers. “Hubtricity not only showcases our extensive connectivity and deep competency in data analytics and cyber security, but is also a co-working space for partners and start-up companies to create solutions for a Smart Nation,” said Tan. “Currently, we are working with both local and global partners to build platforms, such as smart home, intelligent vehicles, connected buildings, virtual reality and smart retail, to meet the future needs of our customers,” added Tan. As a home-grown company, StarHub supports the nurturing of local talent and is keen to help drive the local tech startup ecosystem. Hubtricity aims to bring local technopreneurs together, who can create ideas and test out their solutions, catalyzing greater collaboration and innovation from Singapore. Kiren Kumar, assistant managing director at Singapore Economic Development Board, said that with Hubtricity, StarHub is investing in capabilities that will enable it to innovate and develop new digital products, services and solutions with partners across industries.  “Hubtricity will add to Singapore’s position as the Digital Capital of Asia and will create exciting jobs in Singapore in areas such as cyber security and social media analytics,” said Kumar.

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CyberLink Vol.102 February 2017

Cyberport’s popular Career Fair returns on 4 March

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CyberLink Vol.101 Chinese New Year Special Edition

Message from the CEO

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CyberLink Vol.100 December 2016

Smart-Space FinTech opens to further support community

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