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Blockchain offers impeccable security with its cryptography-based decentralized system as well as the plethora of possible uses retailers could exploit in the near future. In a world of increasing cyberattacks, internet fraud and online hacking, blockchain comes as a breath of fresh air. With its encrypted data and decentralized network system, it's a thorn in every hacker's side. Generally being associated with the finance sector, blockchain is now taking retail by storm. It's on a course that will change the retail industry as we know it. But how exactly is it going to achieve such a feat? First of all, what is blockchain? Well, blockchain is a digital ledger which stores its data in the form of interlinked blocks. Each block contains a timestamp of its transaction along with the transaction data. The links between the blocks are secured by using encryption, which... (more)

Chatbots, AI and #FinTech | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #DX #DigitalTransformation

FinTech is a lucrative, yet quite saturated market. In order to stay competitive, businesses should keep track of the emerging trends and be able to capitalize on them before their competitors do. Artificial Intelligence is currently among the most promising FinTech trends. Leading financial brands such as Capital One, MasterCard, as well as hundreds of startups have set the pace for the adoption of virtual financial advisors. If you want to stay ahead of your competition or simply explore the opportunities for AI in fintech, this article is for you. Here is a brief overview of the existing AI-powered personal finance apps as well as some useful tips on how to develop one. AI and Chatbots: The hottest topics of 2017 The recent shift in consumer behavior triggered a new wave of innovation across major industries. Traditional business models and strategies are being re... (more)

Sia Could Disrupt the Cloud Market | @CloudExpo #AI #DX #Siacoin #FinTech #Blockchain

Blockchain technology is taking over the world. It is an ingenious invention by a person or a group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 8 years, you have heard of Bitcoin. The underlying technology behind Bitcoin is called blockchain, a public ledger of all the Bitcoin transactions that ever happened on its network. However, the use of blockchain is not limited to Bitcoin. There have been numerous projects that are making use of blockchain technology. The most famous of these is Ethereum, which is a simplified platform to let developers build apps (dApps) on the blockchain. Another prominent project using blockchain technology is Sia, a distributed cloud storage platform. The idea for Sia was conceived back in 2013 at HackMIT, a hackathon hosted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The ide... (more)

What Digital Transformation Means to Retailers | @ThingsExpo #DX #IoT #M2M

A recent BusinessWeek article titled “America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever” summarizes the epidemic that retailers are facing today (see Figure 1). Figure 1:  Growing Epidemic of Store Closures Retailers are closing stores at a record path and the driving force behind the acceleration in store closings is Amazon, who now accounts for over 50% of all on-line retail sales (see Figure 2). Figure 2:  Amazon’s Growing Dominance of e-commerce; source:  “Competitors Can’t Keep Up With Amazon’s Growth” What are retailers to do when the tricks and techniques that worked in the past just don’t work in today’s real-time data and analytics driven business world?  Business models that worked in a world that valued size and location quickly fall apart in a world where retailers are leveraging customer, product and operational data and analytics to provide a h... (more)

Plutora Reports Strong Growth in Demand for Application Delivery Management Products as Enterprises Invest to Fix Software Delivery Bottlenecks

Plutora Reports Strong Growth in Demand for Application Delivery Management Products as Enterprises Invest to Fix Software Delivery Bottlenecks 100 Percent Increase in Annual Revenue Growth and 100 Percent Customer Retention in H1 2017 Drive Expansion of Leadership Team and Global Footprint SANTA CLARA, Calif. – August 23, 2017 – Plutora, a leading provider of release, test environment and test management solutions for enterprise IT, has reported a 100 percent increase in annual revenue growth in the first half of 2017. Customers such as eBay, Verizon, and Dell have turned to Plutora to improve release management practices that can cause serious and costly bottlenecks in software development and release cycles. To meet increasing demand and build on its leadership position, Plutora has expanded its international footprint with offices in the US, UK and Australia. Add... (more)

Improve Your UX and You’re Bound to See eCommerce Success | @DevOpsSummit #DevOp #WebPerfs

Improve Your UX and You're Bound to See eCommerce Success By Scott Davis Commerce has become both digital and global: Online sales are expected to exceed $1.6 trillion dollars by 2020. As a customer preferred way of doing business, ecommerce offers increased selection, value, and convenience. Online shopping also offers merchants increased access to customer data and opportunities to capitalize on that information. If your business isn’t keeping pace with best practices in ecommerce UX—not to mention leveraging mobile to capture even more opportunities—you’ll miss out on the continuously growing percentage of consumer online spending. In 2016, for instance, shoppers made 51 percent of their purchases online (compared to 48 percent in 2015 and 47 percent in 2014). Regardless of the path of innovation you choose in the ecommerce space, your online presence should be o... (more)

Top 15 Solr vs. Elasticsearch Differences

Solr vs. Elasticsearch. Elasticsearch vs. Solr.  Which one is better? How are they different? Which one should you use? Before we start, check out two useful Cheat Sheets to guide you through both Solr and Elasticsearch and help boost your productivity and save time when you’re working with any of these two open-source search engines. Check out Solr Metrics API Cheat Sheet Check out Elasticsearch DevOps Cheat Sheet These two are the leading, competing open-source search engines known to anyone who has ever looked into (open-source) search.  They are both built around the core underlying search library – Lucene – but they are different.  Like everything, each of them has its set of strengths and weaknesses and each may be a better or worse fit depending on your needs and expectations. In the past, we’ve covered Solr and Elasticsearch differences in Solr Elasticsearch... (more)

Spot Buying for Startups

This latest BriefingsDirect podcast, from the recent 2013 Ariba LIVE Conference in Washington, D.C., explores how the spot-buying process is benefiting buyers and sellers, and how they're using the Ariba Network and Discovery to conduct tactical buying. Here to explain the latest and greatest around agile procurement for businesses of any size, we're joined by Ian Thomson, Koozoo’s Head of Business Development, based in San Francisco. The interview is conducted Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. [Disclosure: Ariba, an SAP company, is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.] Here are some excerpts: Gardner: Tell us about Koozoo. Thomson: Koozoo is a technology company based in San Francisco, and we are the easiest way to share a live view with someone in particular, or a broader community. We have built a very simple web application that conver... (more)

Technology for a Cashless Society | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #Sensors

I happened to be in India last November when prime minister Modi announced the demonetization program, where 86% of the currency in the form of two paper bills (Rs. 500 and 1000 denomination) were made defunct. People were given time to deposit their existing currencies in the bank. Those who had unusually high volume of such currencies were supposed to declare the legal source or face stiff penalties such as 60-75% tax. The goal was to catch the money hoarders and black marketers who avoid paying taxes on such undeclared money. Four months later, I happened to visit India last February. Everyone suggested I download an app called Paytm. I could transfer money from a bank account instantly. What was convenient with Paytm was that I could use it at gas stations, small stores, and even at roadside vendor shops. Everyone seems to have installed the Paytm station where... (more)

Alibaba CEO to Step Down

Tapping no successor yet, Jack Ma, 48, said Tuesday he would be resigning as CEO of Alibaba on May 10 because he is no longer young enough for the Internet business. "The Internet belongs to young people," he said. "This year, most of the Alibaba leaders who were born in the 1960s will retreat from management and execution roles as we hand over leadership responsibility to colleagues from the '70s and '80s generations. Because, we believe that they understand the future better than us, and they have a better chance at seizing the future." He will remain chairman of the giant Chinese e-commerce company he started in 1999 responsible for its strategic direction while cultivating younger talent. Alibaba is expected to IPO and has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to take it out although Alibaba denies it. It bought back half the 40% share in Alibaba hel... (more)

SAP and Big Data

SAP customers are confused about the positioning between SAP Sybase IQ and SAP Hana as it applies to data warehousing. Go figure, so is SAP. You want to learn about their data warehousing offering, and all you hear is “Hana this” and “Hana that”. It reminds me of the time after I left Teradata when the BI appliances came on the scene. First Netezza, then Greenplum, then Vertica and Aster Data, then ParAccel. Everyone was confused about what the BI appliance was in relation to the EDW. Do I need an EDW, a BI appliance, an EDW + BI appliance? With SAP, Sybase IQ is supposed to be the data warehouse and Hana is the BI or analytic appliance that sits off to its side. Okay. SAP has a few customers on Sybase IQ, but are they the larger well-known brands? Let's face it….since its acquisition of Sybase in 2010, SAP has struggled with positioning it against incumbents like ... (more)